Update: Woman charged after Braintree house destroyed by fire

A WOMAN has been charged after a house was completely destroyed and another damaged in a suspected arson attack.

Ana Rego, 43, from Rosemary Avenue, Braintree, has been charged with three counts of arson with intent to endanger life after a fire tore through a house, also in Rosemary Avenue, at about 6.50pm on Saturday.

She is due to appear before Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court today.

Firefighters, who initially feared people were trapped inside the burning semi-detached home, called for extra back-up as flames licked at neighbouring houses.

About 20 firefighters from Braintree, Wethersfield, Halstead, Witham, Clacton and Chelmsford tackled the blaze.

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The road was cordoned off as firefighters with breathing apparatus using four hose reels and an aerial platform took almost two hours to put out the fire.

An ambulance and a Red Cross Victim Support Unit were also on the scene as a precautionary measure to help anyone affected by the fire.

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A spokesman for Essex Fire and Rescue Service said that one property had been “100% alight” while an adjoining house was “100% smoke-logged”.

At 10am today (Sunday), firefighters returned to the devastated house to begin an investigation into the cause of the fire.

A van parked in front of the house had also been partially destroyed and the fronts and sides of neighbouring properties remained blackened.

The occupants of both houses were said to be “away from the area.” Andy Senior, station manager for Essex Fire and Rescue Service, said the investigation was now in the hands of the police.

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