Published: 14:32, 30 December 2019
| Updated: 20:34, 30 December 2019
Emergency services are at the scene of a large fire in Folkestone which has ripped through three homes.
Eight fire engines are attending, and police have closed the road in Wear Bay Crescent.
KMTV report on the fire
Flames are shooting into the air and smoke can be seen across town. Members of the public have been advised to avoid the area.
Two people have been taken to hospital as a result of the blaze, which is affecting buildings around what's believed to be the Birdcage Italian restaurant.
A fire spokeswoman said at 1.30pm: "We are currently at the scene of a large domestic property fire on Wear Bay Crescent in Folkestone.
"Eight fire engines have been sent to the scene and firefighters are advising the public to avoid the area whilst crews tackle the blaze."
A close-up video of the fire shows how windy the area is. Credit: Karnan Aruliah
An update provided by the fire service at 3.10pm states that the fire has now spread to a number of homes.
The statement reads: "Firefighters remain at the scene of a fire affecting three domestic properties on Wear Bay Crescent in Folkestone.
"Crews wearing breathing apparatus are currently using hose reel jets, compressed air foam and water from a hydrant to tackle the blaze and reduce the fire spread.
"A height vehicle and bulk water carrier have also been sent to the scene. More to come."
KentOnline reporter Alex Jee has described the area as being "like something out of an apocalypse, ash is falling from the sky and landing on cars."
One onlooker said: "They have covered the first house in foam, but they’re really struggling.
“The wind must be playing a factor, it’s blowing the smoke so it must be blowing the flames.”
Another said: "I’m visiting here, and we were walking down by the front when my daughter pointed it out to me.
“It must have started about an hour ago, it’s absolutely awful”
The smoke can be seen from miles around
Despite suggestions that a fourth house had caught light, this is now being doubted.
An eyewitness at the scene said: "There are two firefighters on the next building along and they are doing a bang up job.
“They’re keeping the flames away from that house, and if they keep it up it’ll be nothing short of miraculous if you ask me”
Firefighters are now asking nearby homeowners and businesses to keep windows and doors shut.
Our reporter said: "A burst of flame shot out of the roof just now and you could actually feel the heat from where we are stood."
People watching the inferno have now been moved back by police, as they fear there may soon be a collapse.
It is not known how the fire started, or when it will be extinguished.
A spokesman for the South East Coast Ambulance Service said: "We were called at 2pm to reports of a house fire.
"On the scene, we've had an ambulance and a team of vehicles comprising the Hazard Area Response Team.
"We've taken two people to the William Harvey Hospital with what are believed to be minor injuries.
"There are no further casualties at this time.
"We're still on the scene to assist fire crews."
Hotel The Grand has tweeted to say anyone rendered homeless for the night due to the damage caused should get in touch on 01303 222 222.