28 October 2019 18:40
Sign me up for news alerts A major blaze has taken hold at a former town centre gun shop. The building - situated in the former Kent Wool Growers site on Tannery Lane, Ashford - now has a heavy emergency service presence. The Kent Wool Growers site. Picture: Barry Goodwin The building's roof has now collapsed, and a Fire and Rescue Service Command Support Unit is on the scene. Though close, the Grade II-listed Whist House - also located on the site - appears to be out of harm's way.
A spokeswoman for the fire service said: "We are responding to a fire in a commercial building in Tannery Lane, Ashford. "Five fire engines and a height vehicle are at the scene, and crews are using hose reel jets and water from a hydrant to tackle the blaze. Tannery Lane, where the fire is blazing, is filled with emergency service personnel. "People living and working near Tannery Lane in Ashford are advised to close windows and due to smoke, while firefighters deal with a fire in a commercial building. A police dog unit is present, alongside a throng of spectators.
Station Road - which has been clogged with traffic throughout the day due to temporary traffic lights - is now partially blocked due to the fire. Major delays should be expected if driving through the town. Earlier this year, controversial plans to build more than 200 flats including a 14-storey block on the former business site were approved. The fire is no longer visible from the outside. Picture: Steve Salter (20329306) As part of the plans, the listed building on the site will be transformed into a bar and restaurant. London developers U+I are to convert the former premises of the farming retailer in Tannery Lane, which closed after 100 years of trading in 2017. The building adjoins on previously used by architectural artist Alex Chinneck in one of his latest works. For more news on fires in the county, click here Read more: All the latest news from Ashford Fire crews have descended on Ashford town centre. The Kent Wool Growers site on Tannery Lane has caught fire, sparking a huge emergency response. Four fire engines and a height vehicle are believed to be at the scene to tackle the fire. Currently, no casualties have been reported. Keep up to date with our live blog below for all the latest on the M20 as Operation Brock is implemented. If you have seen or heard anything you think we should know about, or in relation to this incident, please contact the Kent Live newsdesk by email at [email protected] Alternatively, you can get in touch with us via our Facebook page or on Twitter @kentlivenews.