Published: 09:00, 29 April 2014
Police are investigation a suspected arson attack which forced eight people and two dogs to flee a blazing building.
A 15-month-old baby needed medical treatment last night after the fire broke out at a flat in Kennington.
Those evacuated went to stay with families or friends, and a structural engineer viewed the building today to advise whether they can return home.
It comes after two fire crews from Ashford were called to the scene just before 10pm last night, and spent two hours tackling the flames.
Firefighters also rescued a puppy from the first floor.
An ambulance was called and a 15-month-old girl was treated for smoke inhalation.
The two-storey building suffered serious fire damage on the ground floor, and the first floor was smoke damaged.
A chair outside the property has been completely destroyed.
A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: "I woke up at around 10.30pm. There was a lot of noise and flashing lights.
"I saw people standing outside but I didn't see any flames."
Crew manager Tim Hanley said: "We were called to a two-storey block of flats in Rectory Way just before 10pm.
"There were nine people within the flats but they had all escaped before we arrived.
"It was quite a serious fire.
"A baby was checked over by ambulance for smoke inhalation. We also rescued a puppy from the first floor.
"The fire started on the ground floor. The cause is under investigation."
Today, the empty building was being guarded by a police community support officer.
Police have confirmed they are treating the fire as arson and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
A spokesman said: "The fire is being investigated as arson – anyone with information should contact Kent Police on 101, giving reference ZY/13724/14."
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