A MUM and her son have been forced to move out after a fire in their home.

Karen Clarke, 48, was at home in Fitzgerald Close, Lawford, when her smoke alarm went off at about 10.30am on Saturday.

She was at home with her dog at the time when she realised the smoke was coming through her 16-year-old son’s computer room.

Ms Clarke said: “I opened the door and largest, blackest cloud of smoke hit me in the face.

“I immediately shut the door and ran out of the house with my dog into the garden and called the fire service.

“I then called my parents who came over instantly, then I called the fire service again.”

One fire crew from Clacton and two from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service attended and put out the flames within an hour.

Ms Clarke said when the crews, two firefighters went into her house wearing breathing apparatus.

Ms Clarke said: “When they opened the door to the computer room the smoke came into the living room.

“They went in the computer room and then came out with a computer monitor which was on fire and then put it out in the back garden.”

Ms Clarke said she thinks an electrical fault with the monitor was the cause of the fire.

However, Essex Fire and Rescue Service has recorded the cause of the fire to be a tealight which was left unattended and said her furniture caught fire.

However, Ms Clarke denies a tealight was left unattended or that her furniture caught fire.

She said a tealight was lit in the room the night before the blaze but was put out that evening.

An Essex County Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “We are committed to responding to all emergency calls as soon as we can, using all of our countywide resources.“We aim to respond to 90 per cent of all incidents within 15 minutes.

“In this case, the first firefighters arrived at the incident 21 minutes after we were called.

“Firefighters then managed to quickly and efficiently extinguish the fire, restricting the damage considerably.”

“Firefighters reported that the fire was caused accidentally after a tea light was left unattended.”

Ms Clarke and her son, who asked not to be named, are now living with family in Lawford until the house is deep cleaned and made safe from fumes.

A Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “In line with normal practice, two Suffolk crews were despatched to this incident to support the crew from Essex who extinguished the small fire quickly and efficiently.”