Published: 08:00, 08 November 2018
| Updated: 16:51, 08 November 2018
Flames are tearing through a supermarket after a huge fire broke out this morning.
The fire can be seen raging above the Morrisons supermarket building in the Cheriton area of Folkestone.
Fire crews were called to the scene at 7.34am.
British Red Cross teams have been stood down from the fire.
British Red Cross has scaled down its response.
A spokesperson for Folkestone Academy said: "On hearing about the fire, our safety protocols kicked in immediately.
"The police were on site early this morning, and our health and safety lead confirmed that the air quality was within the normal range so we were safe to open as normal."
A police spokesman said: "Police were made aware of a fire at a supermarket in Cheriton Road, Folkestone at 8.03am on Thursday, November 8.
"Officers are attending the scene to assist Kent Fire and Rescue Service with the closure of Cheriton Road between Cornwallis Avenue and Cherry Garden Avenue.
"People are advised to avoid the area."
"The incident at the Morrisons store in Folkestone has been scaled down to six fire engines and two height vehicles, and advice for residents to keep windows and doors closed has been lifted." - Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Follow live updates below as we get them.
Kent Fire and Rescue's area manager Chris Else at the scene.
New pictures have been sent from the scene by our photographer Paul Amos.
Folkestone Sports Centre Trust has informed its customers on Facebook that it is still open, saying "It is ThreeHills which has closed due to its proximity to the smoke caused."
Here's why Megan Gibson is upset after the Morrisons fire.
Firefighters say they are making good progress.
The fire has affected three quarters of the building and crews are working to stop it spreading any further.
They say the smoke plume has reduced considerably, but people living and working nearby are told to keep windows and doors closed.
Listen to Kent Fire and Rescue's service area manager Chris Else giving the latest update on the fire
Harvey Grammar School has confirmed it is remaining open.
KCC Highways say the road is likely to remain closed for days.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service have shared this video from the scene. Credit: KFRS
The British Red Cross was called out by Kent Fire & Rescue to the fire at the Morrisons supermarket.
Two emergency response staff members and four volunteers are on the scene providing practical and emotional support to people who have been evacuated from a nearby leisure centre, and other people who have been affected.
The British Red Cross has confirmed it is at the scene for support.
A spokesman said: "Two emergency response staff members and four volunteers are on the scene, ready to provide practical and emotional support to people who have been evacuated from a nearby leisure centre, and any other members of the public affected."
Folkestone Academy school, located on nearby Academy Lane, posted on its website: "The local Morrisons on Cheriton Road has suffered a major fire this morning.
"We understand the roof has collapsed and the store has been destroyed.
"This has caused road closures in the local area.
"The area around the Academy is now cleared from smoke and the Academy will be operating as normal.
"At breaks and lunches children will be able to remain inside if that is their preference.
"We are in close communication with emergency services who will provide us with any extra information during the day.
"There will be an update later today before 1pm to convey any extra information we receive regarding the end of day."
More footage of the store...
Mother Lisa Lawrence , 49 from Cheriton said to our reporter Sean Axtell at the scene: "My first thoughts were about the welfare of everyone involved.
"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."
Morrison have shared a message to their customers on Twitter:
Reporter Sean Axtell is speaking to witnesses close to the store.
Carer Sophie Laubscher, 67, of Julian Road, said: "We came out the house and saw this big cloud of smoke at about 8am.
"I thought 'oh my, Morrisons is burning down.'
Witness Frankie Moore, 18, Cheriton, says 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.
"When I got closer I could smell smoke. I could see the roof was collapsing and the clock tower was coming down."
These stunning aerial images by Ollie King show the extent of the blaze over Folkestone.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s technical rescue team is in attendance and a drone is being launched to assess the incident from above.
The roof of the building, which is approximately 80m x 60m in size, has collapsed.
The initial alarm was raised by a member of staff and the store was evacuated immediately.
A nearby leisure centre has also been evacuated as a precaution.
The fire is believed to have started in the store’s café, and a fire investigation will take place.
There are no reported casualties.
People living nearby are still advised to close windows and doors.
More video has emerged of the shocking blaze.
Video by Scott Pursey
Listen to KentOnline reporter Sean Axtell at the scene.
A police cordon has been set up in Cheriton Road about 400 metres away from Morrisons, with police guiding traffic up Cornwallis Avenue.
Firefighters on a cherry picker are tackling the blaze from above, with smoke seen billowing eastwards towards Sugarloaf hill.
No ambulances are at the scene.
The roof of the supermarket has entirely collapsed.
More photos from the scene, where a police cordon has been set up
The Three Hills Sports Park, which is next to Morrisons, is being evacuated because of the smoke coming from the store.
Harvey Grammar School, just down the road from the Morrisons supermarket, has said it is business as usual for pupils and it will not be closing unless advised to do so.
Morrisons has confirmed no-one was hurt in the fire.
The blaze can be seen high above Folkestone.
Part of the roof has collapsed as flames continue to tear through the building.
More dramatic images of the blaze are coming in.
The fire is thought to have broken out in a deep fat fryer in a cafe at the store, Kent Fire and Rescue say.
Several road closures are in place as a result of the fire.
The A2034 Cheriton Road is shut in both directions from Cornwallis Avenue to the traffic lights forb the A20 Cherry Garden Avenue.
Five bus routes are being diverted via Shorncliffe Road.
The store was evacuated and it is understood there have been no casualties.
Kent Fire and Rescue have sent 12 fire engines to the scene of the blaze as well as two height vehicles and a command support unit.
People living and working nearby are advised to close windows and doors due to smoke.
This video by @demelzacristall shows the ferocity of the blaze.
She said "First job was here so feeling a little sad. Hope everyone was alright. Firemen doing a brilliant job."
More by this authorKentOnline reporter
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