Colchester: House fire may have been arson, say police
Police are treating a blaze in an unoccupied house in Colchester as suspicious
Firefighters were called to the semi-detached property in Mersea Road at around 4.58am this morning.
Five nearby properties were evacuated while fire fighters dealt with the blaze.
Crews wore breathing gear and used two hose reels to tackle the fire, which had already spread to 70% of the house when they arrived.
Two engines had been sent to the scene, but the attendance of an additional crew was requested shortly afterwards
The flames were out by 5.30am and a fan was used to clear the building of smoke.
Police are now appealing for information about the fire. A man was seen running into a nearby field shortly before flames were spotted coming from the property. He was wearing a black hooded top, carrying a ruck sack and was heard to speak with a northern accent.
Anyone with information is asked to call Dc Mark Peacock at Colchester CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.