Street blaze drama

RESIDENTS fled their homes last night as firefighters battled to save a terraced street from being destroyed by fire.Four three storey terraced houses in Victoria Street, Dovercourt were gutted by the blaze which broke out just after 7pm.

RESIDENTS fled their homes last night as firefighters battled to save a terraced street from being destroyed by fire.

Four three storey terraced houses in Victoria Street, Dovercourt were gutted by the blaze which broke out just after 7pm.

Streets surrounding the fire were cordoned off as firefighters used an aerial ladder platform and other ladders to tackle the blaze.

The fire quickly spread rapidly and engulfed the two top floors and roof of one property, and later affected four.

Maurice Joyce, who lives across from the buildings said his property had been filled with smoke.

He said: "You could see the flames going through the roof of the building and see them spreading across into the other houses. It is such a shame that these people have lost so much."

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His partner Cecilia Larsson said she felt a little shook up by what she had seen.

As firefighters arrived there were reports of people still being in the buildings which were well alight. But it emerged that everyone had escaped from the building safely.

The blaze quickly spread through the buildings, but the occupants of two of the houses were able to get out safely and two of the houses were empty as they were being renovated.

Crews form Dovercourt, Manningtree, Weeley, Colchester and Brentwood, were at the scene.

Leading firefighter, Adrian Davis, from Dovercourt fire station was one of the first officers on the scene after they responded to an emergency call.

He said some of the floors in the buildings had collapsed.

"When we arrived the whole road was full of smoke, we were told by some people the houses were empty but there were also reports of people being in there.

"We committed men to a search but there was no-one we could find in there.

"The first floor of the house we went to was very hot and heavily consumed by the fire."

Divisional Officer for Essex fire service, Tim Hinds, said there would be officers at the scene throughout the night, but said it was too early to say what had caused the blaze.

"We don't know what caused it, but everyone is out. Some of the people affected will be staying with friends tonight and the other people's insurance company will be putting them up in a hotel."

At 19.04 the service was called to a 5 storey property alight with persons reported.

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