An investigation has been launched after fire ripped through a Dartford coffee factory.

Firefighters were called to the Riverside Industrial Estate around 5.30am on October 11.

Employees were evacuated before Kent Fire and Rescue arrived but firefighters were unable to contain the fire before the day ended.

The incident has now been scaled down to just three fire engines today (October 15) and contractors remain on site to demolish parts of the building to help gain access to the smouldering coffee.

One resident admitted she was "surprised" that plumes of smoke didn't smell like coffee.

A spokesman for Kent Fire and Rescue said: “Due to the quick thinking of the officers in charge in the initial stages of the incident, the production area of the warehouse has minimal damage.”

The incident follows an earlier blaze in 2015, when staff were evacuated after machinery caught fire.

The site is owned by Japanese coffee giant UCC, which has sales of £2 billion worldwide and has its UK headquarters in Milton Keynes.

The Dartford site at one point received one per cent of the globe's coffee exports every year, equating to 9,000 tonnes, or one billion cups of coffee.

UCC managing director Elaine Swift said last week: "No employees were hurt, and we understand the fire has been contained in the warehouse area.

"We have a team on site managing the incident and helping the fire brigade and a disaster recovery team in full flow focussing on business continuity.

"We are working hard to secure production and supply for our customers to minimise disruption and will be supported by our European roasteries if necessary.”