Loud bangs woke residents as a derelict building burst into flames.
Residents of Springfield Park in Sandling Road, Maidstone, watched from their balconies as smoke billowed out from the structure.
Katie Banks, her partner and four-year-old son Arlo were asleep when the noise woke them up at around 1am on Sunday (November 19).
The 30-year-old said: “I heard two loud bangs and then someone screaming for help.
“I looked out thinking someone had been shot which for around here isn’t unheard of but instead saw the fire and then slightly away from it was a man shouting and waving a stick around.
“He was close to the fire and we were shouting for him to move but he didn’t.
“It was a scary spectacle as it was only about 20m from our flat.”
The mum-of-one dialled 999 and within 15 minutes fire crew arrived.
A fire service spokesperson said: “We were called at 1.05am on Sunday to reports of a derelict building alight.
“Three fire engines attended and crews wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the blaze using hose reel jets.
“No injuries were reported. The cause is unknown.”
Crews called a stop to the incident at around 4.11am.
Katie said very little had happened to the plot, formerly the Kent County Reference Library, for years and homeless people had moved in.
“People have said there is someone who normally lights fires outside but this time he lit one inside to keep him warm,” she added.
“Others are saying it’s an electrical fire which is why it took so long for the firefighters to put it out.
“Whatever it was it lit up the whole building and there was a lot of smoke. We were lucky it was in the winter because come summer our flat would have definitely followed.”
The former library was demolished last year.
Last June, Maidstone council bought the land with the intention of building 1,000 new affordable homes.
However, one year on and no work has started but plans were outlined in May this year to for 115 flats.
The council held two drop-in days at the new Maidstone History and Library Centre to show people what is proposed.