A couple and their two young children escaped a fire unharmed overnight, thanks to their working smoke detectors.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service received an emergency 999 call at around 3.40am and five fire engines from Herne Bay, Whitstable and Canterbury were sent due to the property in Old Tree, Hoath.
Officer in charge, Station Manager, Dave Nolan, said: "Crews quickly seized control of the rapidly developing fire which was in a converted barn. We used compressed air foam (CAFs) to rain sticky foam onto the fire to form a protective layer. It repelled radiated heat and prevented the fire spreading to neighbouring timber clad properties or embers sparking a blaze in a field to the rear of the property."
CAFs is particularly useful in rural areas where the water supplies may be limited or some distance from the location of the fire. Its firefighting properties are seven times wetter than water and only five per cent water is needed to make it work, so it is more environmentally sensitive but provides rapid fire knockdown. A thermal image camera was also used to check for hot spots and fire spread.
Firefighters spent time talking to the family to find out what they needed most and were able to bring clothing, keys and other essential items out to help them get some normality back into their lives as quickly as possible.
Dave ended: "This family were saved by the sound of their smoke alarms. Hopefully most of us are unlikely to ever have a fire in our home but having working smoke alarms, being prepared and knowing what to do could make all the difference to you getting out alive."
The fire, which damaged two thirds of the building was extinguished by 6.30am but all the surrounding properties were saved. Neighbours assisted the family throughout their ordeal and fire crews left the scene just before 9am.
The cause of the blaze is being investigated.