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Jobs safe and plans being made after Morrisons fire in Folkestone

By Sean Axtell

There is no risk to jobs and the firm is hammering out plans to continue serving customers after a fire destroyed a supermarket on Thursday.

The inferno, which could be seen for miles raging above the store in Folkestone, was caused by a café chip pan fire, Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) believes.

Now three-way lights are in operation in Cheriton Road, where motorists will experience slight delays.

Morrisons aftermath - Folkestone (5325647)
Morrisons aftermath - Folkestone (5325647)

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Quickly spreading to the roof at around 7am, it took 50 firefighters in 12 engines to fight the flames at their peak.

The fire was fully extinguished this morning and there were no injuries according to KFRS, which has handed the site back to Morrisons.

Morrisons aftermath - Folkestone (5325651)
Morrisons aftermath - Folkestone (5325651)

Pictures of the roof show the charred remnants of brick and timber, exposed metal girders and an empty space where the clock tower stood.

Below, tons of rubble have been cleared flush to the building’s walls, as workers bid to make the site safe.

At the time of the incident the Three Hills Sports Park, next to the supermarket, was evacuated after the roof of the store entirely collapsed.

Morrisons aftermath - Folkestone (5325653)
Morrisons aftermath - Folkestone (5325653)

The British Red Cross was also drafted in to help cope with further emergencies.

By late afternoon the operation was scaled down to six fire engines and two height vehicles.

Advice for residents to keep windows and doors closed was also lifted.

Morrisons aftermath - Folkestone (5325649)
Morrisons aftermath - Folkestone (5325649)

Speaking at the time of the incident onlookers expressed their shock.

Witness Frankie Moore, 18, Cheriton, said he could see the store's roof collapsing.

He said: "I was meeting my girlfriend at Folkestone bus station this morning and I could see smoke, I knew it was from around the Morrisons direction because I know the area quite well.

The Morrisons supermarket fire. Picture: Olly Shaw (5289992)
The Morrisons supermarket fire. Picture: Olly Shaw (5289992)

"When I got closer I could smell smoke. I could see the roof was collapsing and the clock tower was coming down."

Mother Lisa Lawrence, 49, from Cheriton, added: "My first thoughts were about the welfare of everyone involved.

The Morrisons supermarket in Folkestone is on fire (5288587)
The Morrisons supermarket in Folkestone is on fire (5288587)

"I shop there. I know people there, I messaged one person who works there straight away to make sure she was okay which she was.

"The emergency services are doing a fantastic job."

A spokesman for Morrisons confirmed they are working hard to continue serving customers while the store is out of use.

Cllr David Monk, leader of Folkestone and Hythe District Council, said: “We have spoken with Morrisons who have assured us local residents’ jobs will be unaffected and we will do all we can to help them get the store back up and running as soon as possible.”

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