Nine people have been taken to hospital after a serious fire in a sheltered accommodation block in Kent

Emergency services were called to the two-storey building in Barn End Lane, Wilmington, Dartford at 7.39 this morning.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service have described the fire as "serious" and eight fire engines were sent to the scene.

Paramedics remain at the scene Credit: Tom Mickleborough

Crews rescued five people from the premises. A number of others were able to stay in their homes.

The incident is now being scaled back but ambulances remain at the scene.

The extent of the injuries isn't yet known, but Darent Hospital have posted a message on their website asking patients to avoid A&E while they deal with a major incident:

We are currently responding to a Major Incident and ask people needing to use the Accident and Emergency Department to seek an alternative. The hospital is not closed and remains open to relatives and visitors.

Statement from Darent Hospital

The cause of the blaze is unknown and being investigated.

More as we get it.