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Morrisons in Folkestone on fire

By KentOnline reporter

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.

4.49pm

British Red Cross teams have been stood down from the fire.

3.48pm

British Red Cross has scaled down its response.

2.48pm

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."

2.20pm

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."

2.17pm

"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.

2.05pm

Kent Fire and Rescue's area manager Chris Else at the scene.

12.58pm

New pictures have been sent from the scene by our photographer Paul Amos.

Gallery1

Click to view

Folkestone Morrisons Store Fire.Picture: Paul Amos. (5293187) Folkestone Morrisons Store Fire.Picture: Paul Amos. (5293191) Folkestone Morrisons Store Fire.Police cordon off the area.Picture: Paul Amos. (5293201) Folkestone Morrisons Store Fire.Smoke as seen from Sugar Loaf Hill.Picture: Paul Amos. (5293242)

12.43pm

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."

12.05pm

Here's why Megan Gibson is upset after the Morrisons fire.

12.07pm

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.

11.50am

Listen to Kent Fire and Rescue's service area manager Chris Else giving the latest update on the fire

11.47am

Harvey Grammar School has confirmed it is remaining open.

11.45am

KCC Highways say the road is likely to remain closed for days.

11.33am

Kent Fire and Rescue Service have shared this video from the scene. Credit: KFRS

11.28am

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.

11.23am

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."

11.22am

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."

11.15am

More footage of the store...

11.13am

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."

11.02am

Morrison have shared a message to their customers on Twitter:

10.50am

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.'

Carer Sophie Laubscher (5293962)
Carer Sophie Laubscher (5293962)

10.43am

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."

Frankie Moore from Cheriton
Frankie Moore from Cheriton

10.32am

These stunning aerial images by Ollie King show the extent of the blaze over Folkestone.

Gallery1

Click to view

Drone images show the extent of the fire. Picture: Ollie King (5292576) Drone images show the extent of the fire. Picture: Ollie King (5292583) Drone images show the extent of the fire. Picture: Ollie King (5292593) Drone images show the extent of the fire. Picture: Ollie King (5292597) Drone images show the extent of the fire. Picture: Ollie King (5292606) Drone images show the extent of the fire. Picture: Ollie King (5292615)

10.31am

Morrisons fire: What we know so far

10.08am

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.

9.58am

More video has emerged of the shocking blaze.

Video by Scott Pursey

9.46am

Listen to KentOnline reporter Sean Axtell at the scene.

9.45am

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.

9.36am

The roof of the supermarket has entirely collapsed.

The roof of the Morrisons supermarket has collapsed. Picture: Daisy Philpott (5290645)
The roof of the Morrisons supermarket has collapsed. Picture: Daisy Philpott (5290645)

9.34am

More photos from the scene, where a police cordon has been set up

A police cordon has been set up (5290579)
A police cordon has been set up (5290579)
Fire crews battling the blaze (5290583)
Fire crews battling the blaze (5290583)

9.29am

The Three Hills Sports Park, which is next to Morrisons, is being evacuated because of the smoke coming from the store.

9.19am

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.

9.18am

Morrisons has confirmed no-one was hurt in the fire.

9.14am

The blaze can be seen high above Folkestone.

Smoke can be seen high above Folkestone. Picture: Mark Hamilton (5290051)
Smoke can be seen high above Folkestone. Picture: Mark Hamilton (5290051)

9.13am

Part of the roof has collapsed as flames continue to tear through the building.

9.10am

More dramatic images of the blaze are coming in.

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

9.06am

The fire is thought to have broken out in a deep fat fryer in a cafe at the store, Kent Fire and Rescue say.

9.01am

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.

8.53am

The store was evacuated and it is understood there have been no casualties.

8.50am

The Morrisons supermarket in Folkestone is on fire. Picture: Ross Povey
The Morrisons supermarket in Folkestone is on fire. Picture: Ross Povey

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.

8.41am

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."

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