A FIRE started in the roof of a Benfleet home after a bird’s nest caught light.

Firefighters were called to Hart Road shortly after 6pm on Thursday. The homeowner, who asked not to be named, said he was halfway through repair work on the roof. He said: “If there was any time for this to happen, this was probably the best time.

“I was at home with my wife and son and as soon as we knew the roof was smoking, I called the fire service. When they arrived they dealt with it very promptly and the fire was out quickly. They were here a few hours making checks but, all in all, it is not too bad.”

Three crews, from Rayleigh and Canvey, attended. A neighbour said she heard the drama unfold.

The woman, who didn’t want to be named, said: “It was a real surprise when three fire engines raced up. I didn’t really know what was going on, but I am glad everyone is OK.”

The cause of the blaze is being investigated.