Last night the sound of a large explosion woke listeners, as a large fire brokeout overnight at nearby Hoo industrial site. Plumes of smoke were visible for miles around.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service advise “people living near the blaze on Vicarage Lane in Hoo, near Rochester, should keep windows and doors closed”.

Incident Commander for the fire service Mark Woodward, said “the building was used to store animal welfare equipment and some Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders had exploded in the blaze.” Around 200 people had been removed from the area.

Our listeners reported hearing a “huge explosion” which “shook” their houses.

A large explosion with 200 or 300 feet high flames.
Credit: Ben Hodges

Kent Fire and Rescue Service sent Ten fire engines to the scene at about 04:40 BST.

As of 9am “Five fire engines and a bulk water carrier are in attendance, and crews have been using main jets and ground monitors to tackle the blaze and reduce the fire spread.”

A thick plume of smoke over Hoo this morning.
Credit: Ben Hodges

South East Coast Ambulance, Kent Police and Medway Council’s Emergency Planning Officers have also been in attendance.

UK Power Networks confirmed it had sent engineers to the area at 10:00 after receiving reports of an interruption to power supplies.

A spokeswoman said the “fire had damaged an overhead power cable”.

No casualties have been reported.

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