A MOTHER has spoken of her fear after a handmade device filled her home with smoke.

Claire Robertson was visiting her friend when her worried son Curtis, 14, called to say he and his sister Kelsey, 17, had run out of the house and called the fire brigade after smoke filled the hall.

Firefighters discovered a handmade device behind the front door shortly after 10pm on Tuesday.

Claire, 39, of Anthony Close, Canvey said: "My boy came out of his room and smelt burning and could see smoke by the front door.

"My daughter was also in and they came downstairs and it was full of hazy smoke, they couldn't see anything.

"They managed to get out and call the fire brigade.

"They came out and they couldn't find what was causing it, they were in and out and couldn't tell.

"As they closed the front door they said there was a small handmade device that had been lit and put through the letter box.”

Mrs Robertson says she will bolt her letterbox shut and is hopeful a neighbour may have CCTV of the incident.

She said: “I’m getting the letterbox screwed shut and won’t be taking any chances.

"Luckily no damage was caused because we have laminate flooring.

"The firefighters said if we had carpet, or there had been any letters or newspapers on the floor it could have been a hell of a lot worse.

“Some of my neighbours have CCTV so I hope they may have caught something on there.”

Police are investigating the incident and took away the device.

Mrs Robertson said: "When the kids called me I just panicked, luckily I was only a few minutes away at my friend's house.

"I couldn't believe it, you never think it's going to happen to you."

Two crews from Canvey used a thermal imaging camera at the scene and the fire service said the device, which is yet to be formally identified, was not a firework.

A spokesman for police said: “Police are investigating an attempted arson at a property in Antony Close in Canvey after a smouldering item was put through the letter box.”

If anyone has information they can call Essex Police on 101 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.