A MAN has been left homeless after a devastating early morning fire destroyed a bungalow in a seaside village.

Essex firefighters called to Humber Avenue, Jaywick, just before 12.30am yesterday.

Four crews of firefighters - from Clacton, Weeley and Brightlingsea - arrived at the scene to find the single storey building totally engulfed in flames.

They quickly established the occupant of the bungalow had managed to quickly get outside the building before the situation worsened.

By that point, the structure had been so badly damaged by the inferno, the firefighting teams could not safely enter the property, so instead tackled the blaze from the outside.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

The crews managed to extinguish the fire within two hours, but returned to the scene at both 5am and 9am to ensure it had not reignited - or any pockets of fire had flared up.

The cause of the blaze is currently unknown, but an investigation has been launched in a bid to find out.

Items being stored in the bungalow’s lift space, however, are said to have posed an additional hazard for the crews and subsequently fuelled the fire.

The service’s watch manager, Ian Street, praised his team for ensuring the fire didn’t impact on any other residents living in the area.

“It was a substantial fire and crews worked really hard to stop it spreading to neighbouring properties,” he said.

“Thankfully, the occupant did the right thing and got out of the property before we had arrived and stayed out.”

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

One resident, who lives nearby and does not wish to be named, was startled when the building caught alight.

“There was a loud bang and then all of a sudden the bungalow just went up in flames,” she said.

“It was shocking to see and horrifying being so close to it, I honestly have never seen anything burn like that.”

For another Jaywick resident, the site of the fire was a worrying one, as his partner lives close to the property.

Speaking anonymously, he said: “I saw it from my window and immediately called my missus to make sure she and her kids were OK.

“I have lived in Jaywick a long time so I am used to these things but I was definitely more concerned than usual because it was in their direction.”