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Woman and dogs rescued as The Holly Tree pub engulfed by flames in huge blaze in Cliftonville in Margate

By Julia Collins

An investigation is under way after a woman had to be rescued from a huge blaze at a Margate pub today.

Dozens of firefighters tackled the flames after smoke began billowing from the roof and top floor of The Holly Tree, in Cliftonville, at about 8.55am.

Twenty firefighters remained at the scene this afternoon as fire investigators continued to probe the cause.

The Holly Tree pub in Cliftonville was badly damaged by fire in June 2014

The woman was rescued by crews - along with two Yorkshire terrier dogs - before being handed over to paramedics.

She has been treated by ambulance crews after breathing in smoke.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said around 35 firefighters were sent to the scene at about 9am.

A spokesman said seven fire engines and an aerial crew were tackling the blaze, which destroyed part of the roof.

The response was scaled down this afternoon, with three fire engines making "steady progress".

Smoke billows from the badly-damaged roof of The Holly Tree
A height vehicle is used to tackle the blaze from above
Firefighters assess the damage to the pub

They have also been using specialist cold-cutting fire equipment to tackle the flames.

Crews from South East Coast Ambulance Service and Kent Police were also called.

The cause of the fire is not yet known, but is not being treated as suspicious.

Pub owner Lisa Cooke took over The Holly Tree with her family last year and embarked on a refurbishment programme.

She posted on Facebook: "Sorry to confirm that there has been a fire at the pub.

"No details yet, but staff and family are all safe and that's all that matters. We appreciate all your messages of support."

A fire engine outside the blazing Holly Tree pub in Cliftonville
Firefighters use hoses to tackle the blaze
Onlookers gathered as smoke billowed from The Holly Tree pub. Picture: Trevor Parker

Northdown Road has been closed by police as crews tackle the blaze, with motorists asked to avoid the area.

The pub is in a residential area near a small parade of shops at the junction with Holly Lane.

Scores of onlookers from nearby homes and businesses lined pavements as the rescue operation unfolded.

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