Published: 15:31, 28 October 2019
| Updated: 07:36, 29 October 2019
A major blaze has taken hold at a former town centre gun shop.
The building - situated in the former Kent Wool Growers site on Tannery Lane, Ashford - now has a heavy emergency service presence.
The building's roof has now collapsed, and a Fire and Rescue Service Command Support Unit is on the scene.
Though close, the Grade II-listed Whist House - also located on the site - appears to be out of harm's way.
A spokeswoman for the fire service said: "We are responding to a fire in a commercial building in Tannery Lane, Ashford.
"Five fire engines and a height vehicle are at the scene, and crews are using hose reel jets and water from a hydrant to tackle the blaze.
"People living and working near Tannery Lane in Ashford are advised to close windows and due to smoke, while firefighters deal with a fire in a commercial building.
"There are currently no reported casualties."
A police dog unit is present, alongside a throng of spectators.
Station Road - which has been clogged with traffic throughout the day due to temporary traffic lights - is now partially blocked due to the fire.
Major delays should be expected if driving through the town.
In a statement issued just before 7pm, the fire service said: "The earlier advice for people living and working near Tannery Lane in Ashford to close windows and doors due to smoke, has been lifted.
"At the height of the fire, which was within a derelict commercial building, six fire engines and a height vehicle were in attendance.
"This has now been scaled down with crews damping down remaining hot spots.
"There are no reported injuries and the cause is not yet known."
Earlier this year, controversial plans to build more than 200 flats including a 14-storey block on the former business site were approved.
As part of the plans, the listed building on the site will be transformed into a bar and restaurant.
London developers U+I are to convert the former premises of the farming retailer in Tannery Lane, which closed after 100 years of trading in 2017.
The building adjoins on previously used by architectural artist Alex Chinneck in one of his latest works.
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More by this authorCharlie Harman