A woman and two children have been rescued after large fire spread to a shop and flats this morning.
Firefighters were sent to the blaze in Luton Road, Chatham, at 6am.
Five fire engines and a technical rescue unit were called, as well as an ambulance team.
Crews wearing breathing apparatus rescued a woman and two children from one of the properties, who were assessed at the scene.
They were passed into the care of the ambulance service, before being taken to hospital for further treatment.
Firefighters extinguished the flames using hose reel jets, and dampened down remaining hotspots.
More than eight hours later, crews were seen leaving the area at 2.40pm.
Police closed the road just after 6am between the Luton Arches and the junction with Castle Road.
The road reopened at about 8.45am.
Smoke was seen billowing out of the windows of the Premier convenience store, with a number of residents spotting the rising plumes from afar.
One resident, who lives nearby, says it was at about 6.45am when she saw “thick, black smoke”.
“I took the dog for a walk and it was mainly just smoke in the back of the Premier shop,” she explained.
“But the car wash behind still had the odd flames coming from it.
“It looked to me that it started in the car wash and spread, but I’m not 100% sure.
“There was a lady there crying, saying ‘it’s so sad’.”
Another witness, who lives further away, initially heard sirens coming from outside her bedroom.
She said: “I looked out my window and then saw the smoke billowing out.
“It was dark, thick smoke at first – then it started to ease.”
A fire service spokesman said: “It’s believed a fire started in a commercial premises and spread to nearby flats.
“An investigation into the cause is underway.”
The ambulance service has been contacted for more information.