Fire crews were sent to tackle huge blaze as an articulated lorry, three cars and two tonnes of household rubbish were set alight.
The fire, which is believed to have been started deliberately, happened at the All Saints Industrial Estate in Margate.
Residents reported that flames came so close to their houses that trees in their back garden almost caught alight.
Kent Fire and Rescue spokesman Antony Masters said: "We received a call at 9.34pm last night to All Saints Industrial Estate as there were several areas of fire.
"Three vehicles were well alight with one articulated lorry partially alight.
"Two tonnes of rubbish which included items such as washing machines was also on fire.
"Two fire engines attended the scene and crews used breathing apparatus, a hose reel, a main jet and foam to tackle the fire.
"A fog spike was also used on the articulated lorry. It pierces through concrete or metal and sprays inside to reduce the temperature and suppress the flames so fire crews can enter.
"This is new kit that allows us to be even faster dealing with fires."
The fire service left the scene at 10.33pm but alerted the police as they felt the blaze was started deliberately.