Residents of a coastal town have been warned to keep their doors and windows closed overnight following a large fire in a three-story building.

Firefighters warn that roads are likely to remain closed overnight in areas surrounding the burning building in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. Essex Fire and Rescue say crews will stay overnight at the scene of the fire on Hamlet Court Road, between London Road and Anerley Road, which broke out just before 8:30pm last night (May 21).

Eight fire crews rushed to the scene in the city suburb of Southend-on-Sea to find the roof and top floor completely ablaze. Group manager Ben Turner said: “As it was not safe for firefighters to enter the building, we have used two of our aerial ladder platforms from Chelmsford and Grays.

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“Crews have worked very hard to control the fire and prevent it from spreading. The first floor, which was an unoccupied apartment, sustained extensive damage as the roof and the second (top) floor partially collapsed.

“Although the ground floor did not sustain any fire damage, we are unsure of the extent of the smoke and water damage at this time. We have worked closely with the ambulance service, Essex Police, local authorities and utility companies to resolve the incident”. .”

A man was treated for the effects of smoke inhalation and was left in the care of the ambulance service.

Essex Fire and Rescue advises that road closures are likely to remain overnight.

Motorists have been advised to avoid the area, while residents have been told to keep doors and windows closed due to smoke from the burning building.

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