Opportunistic thieves raided drinks from a kebab shop after it was gutted by fire - and reportedly tried to sell them on.
WATCH: Fire crews at the scene
Manager Izzy Tekagac told how following the tragedy, youths took advantage of the empty premises by stealing bottled drinks - which they allegedly tried to sell on to a nearby business.
The police were called, and a cordon was set up around the building last Saturday, while the owners waited for it to be boarded up.
Miss Tekagac, a 23-year-old mum-of-two, manages the business, which is run by her partner, Selahattin Dilek, 31.
She told how she fell to the floor hyperventilating when she saw the devastation at the family-run shop.
Four fire engines were sent to tackle the blaze, which gutted the Sea Street premises and damaged the flat upstairs.
The blaze - which the fire brigade says was caused by an electrical fault - broke out at about 12.30pm, when the business was closed.
Firefighters arrived to large flames pouring from the property, and used jets of water to extinguish them.
Miss Tekagac was in Whitstable when her mum, who lives next door to the kebab shop, rang to tell her the terrible news.
Rushing home, she was met by the sight of thick smoke as she entered Herne Bay, and arrived to find the kebab shop destroyed.
"When I got back the fire was out - it was all burned down," she recalls.
"I was very scared. I've got young kids, one and six years old, and they were next door at my mum's house.
"I was just shocked and devastated, and really, really upset.
"At one point I was on the floor, trying to breathe."
The tragedy gutted the kebab shop and has rendered the three-bed flat above it - which previously housed employees - uninhabitable.
But Miss Tekagac says Family Kebab will reopen.
"I was very very upset at the beginning - I was seeing nightmares, I couldn't sleep, and my six-year-old was upset," she said.
"But I had to change it around. These things take time but as soon as we get time we'll start remodelling.
"Everything's going to be newly built. There's no way you can use any of our equipment in there now. It's literally unusable.
"It's going to be the newest kebab shop in Herne Bay."
Miss Tekagac says the outpouring from customers and local residents has generally been positive.
"We've had so much support from local people," she said.
"I'm happy no one was hurt or injured, but a family has lost a business and there's a lot of work that needs to be done."