Published: 16:02, 23 June 2017
Bosses at a furniture factory in Herne Bay have spoken of their shock after a huge blaze sent thick clouds of smoke billowing into the sky.
Fire crews raced to the family-owned Crown Products factory in Eddington Lane just after 8am this morning.
They sent eight fire engines and 45 firefighters to the scene to stop the blaze, which started in a hopper unit in a wood store just outside the waehouse.
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Factory manager Terry Bertram, who has worked at Crown Products for 28 years, says all staff were evacuated before crews arrived.
"We were working as we normally would and at about 8.30am the fire was spotted at the back of the building, which was just encroaching inside," he said.
"It has destroyed one of our extraction systems, but nobody was injured and everyone was accounted for in very quick time.
"We are very shocked by what has happened and have now got to deal with the situation and try and get on as best we can."
Crown Products, which is a long established company in Herne Bay, makes kitchen and bedroom furniture.
Fire service station manager David Nolan says the blaze started in a large hopper unit in the wood store.
VIDEO: Fire crews raced to the family-owned Crown Products
"We tried to stop the fire from spreading to the large industrial warehouse here, which is 100 metres long," he said.
"We were successful at keeping it pinned in and the business could continue running so that was a success.
"The smoke could be seen from quite a distance and we had a large number of calls from people in and around the area."
Mr Nolan said a height vehicle and command support unit were also sent to the scene.
The height vehicle was used as a water tower.
Crews put out the flames and spent time cooling down machinery to extinguish any remaining hot spots.
Residents had been told to keep doors and windows closed and crews left the scene at 1.30pm.
Mr Nolan added: "With the temperatures being really hot and the very dusty processes, these things do happen from time to time.
"We have done a good investigation on site and there is certainly nothing deliberate or problematic."
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