Dramatic images of chalet fire released
- Credit: ESSEX FIRE AND RESCUE
Shocking pictures of the damage caused by a bonfire have been released by firefighters after several families were left homeless.
Firefighters were called to reports of the fire in Norman Way, St Osyth, about 12.10pm on July 17.
On arrival four fire crews from Colchester, Weeley, Brightlingsea and Clacton found several single-storey homes alight, caused by a bonfire that grew out of control after being left unattended.
Smoke could be seen billowing from the blaze for miles along the Essex coast.
One chalet has been destroyed, while another has suffered damage to its roof and a third has been affected externally.
A car has also been gutted by the fire.
Station manager Steve Wintrip said: "Firefighters have done a fantastic job here of preventing this fire, which was spreading rapidly when they arrived, from reaching any further chalets.
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"As well as it being a very warm day, crews were working against the wind from the coast in a challenging situation - this could easily have affected many more people and their property.
"This once again shows how dangerous it can be to leave bonfires unattended or positioned near to anything which may lead to it spreading.
"If you are planning on starting one, please position it well away from any buildings, sheds or fences - and keep a close eye on it until it is fully extinguished."