Flats evacuated after rubbish bag deliberately set alight

Firefighters were sent to the scene (stock image) Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Firefighters were sent to the scene (stock image) Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Firefighters evacuated 12 flats after a bag of rubbish caught alight in a communal stairwell – and a fire experts believes the blaze was set deliberately.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service crews – one each from Coggeshall, Halstead and Braintree fire stations – were sent to St John’s Avenue in Braintree to reports a bag of waste was on fire.

They arrived at the scene at 11.43am on Saturday.

A spokesman for the service said: “The flats were evacuated by crews as a precaution due to the amount of smoke that had accumulated.

“Thankfully, no-one was injured and none of the flats were affected by fire.”

The fire had been put out by 12.36pm, before firefighters used ventilation fans to clear smoke from the building.

After carrying out an investigation, fire crews said they believe the fire was started deliberately, and passed their findings on to the police.