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Update: Large garden fire affects three homes and leaves family homeless in Colchester

PUBLISHED: 16:16 10 June 2014 | UPDATED: 23:30 10 June 2014

Crews at the scene of a garden fire in Colchester

Crews at the scene of a garden fire in Colchester

Archant

A family was left homeless when a garden fire spread to three semi-detached homes and outbuildings in Colchester.

The fire service was called to Beeleigh Close in the town just after 2.20pm.

By 3pm the four crews at the scene reported that the blaze had developed to surrounding buildings.

Twenty minutes later firefighters had surrounded the flames and used four hose reels and a main jet to extinguish them at around 3.40pm.

A spokesman for Essex County Fire & Rescue Service said: “One family has been made homeless following the fire and The Red Cross Emergency Support Service has been requested to the incident to assist the family.”

Two fire appliances are still at the scene with builders making the area safe.

The road off Beeleigh Close, Monkwick Avenue, is currently closed while further work is done to the buildings affected.

Lee Palfrymen, assistant divisional officer, said: “The fire started in one garden and from there spread to the garden next door and another garden at the back. It destroyed four shed type outbuildings and affected three homes.

“One house was affected by fire and the two houses next door suffered heat and smoke damage.

“Though we were initially called to a garden fire, on arrival crews were faced with a well developed and rapidly spreading blaze. Firefighters did a good job in preventing this fire from spreading to the two neighbouring houses. The fire had the potential to cause a great deal of damage if crews had not got on top of it as quickly and effectively as they did.”

Gordon Steed, Colchester Borough Homes Tenancy Services Manager, said: “Colchester Borough Homes Property Services and Tenancy Services staff have attended the incident, meeting our tenants affected on site.

“The Fire brigade have advised that two households cannot return to their homes this evening and we have arranged temporary overnight accommodation with this continuing as needed.

“We are working closely with the fire brigade and the families to help them to return to their homes as soon as possible.”

Police and the fire service have launched an investigation into the blaze’s cause.

All the latest updates on whether Highways England plans to close the Orwell Bridge.

High winds have led to train service cancellations including on the mainline from Suffolk and Essex to London and local routes between Sudbury and Marks Tey.

Shane and Zoe Coldron were Chantry School childhood sweethearts. But unexpectedly Zoe, 44, collapsed and died last week. Her husband Shane has spoken about how the family is coping, plus the overwhelming support he has received.

High winds have brought down overhead power cables leaving homes in many Suffolk and Essex communities without electricity.

Several schools in Suffolk are to remain closed or open later this morning amid high winds.

A damning report into the failings of a mental health facility in Essex plunged it into special measures for the second time – prompting bosses to close the service.

Ipswich parks are to open late as a result of the high winds this morning.

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