A TERRACED home has been badly fire and smoke damaged after a blaze in the early hours this morning.

Firefighters were called to Alexandra Street in Harwich at 1.46am after a member of the public saw smoke coming from the house.

Crews from Dovercourt, Manningtree and Colchester extinguished the fire by 3.18am and used a fan to clear the smoke.

Thanks to the work of the crews, the fire was prevented from spreading to the adjoining properties.

Station manager Quentin Sage: "Crews did a brilliant job of stopping the fire spreading to the houses either side. If it wasn't for their swift actions, the fire would have reached the loft and affected two more properties.

"No-one was at the property when the fire started, however smoke alarms were sounding when crews entered so occupants would have been alerted had they been at home."

The ground floor was badly fire damaged and the rest of the property suffered extensive smoke and heat damage.

Despite an extensive fire investigation today, Essex Fire and Rescue Service says it has not been possible to establish the cause.