TWO homes have been left uninhabitable after a fuse box sparked a fire.

Firefighters rushed to Stirling Close, Basildon, to battle the blaze which affected both properties after quickly spreading to the roof.

The fire started in in the fuse box, located in a porch on the front of the semi-detached house.

Both porch roofs quickly caught fire, and the blaze quickly began to spread.

The fire service stated that internal wall voids and joists in the buildings were badly damaged - making both homes uninhabitable.

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “I know both the ladies who live there, just through passing, one is very old and quite fragile, the other is a bit younger and I think her son lives there with her.

“I couldn’t believe it yesterday, I looked out the front window and the porch was completely a light.

“It is horrible for the people involved, they were told yesterday it would be very unlikely they could go back in.

“They both had plenty of offers for help, and I think they found family to stay with, and a guy ran back into to get them a few bits before the fire service doused the whole house.

“Hopefully they will back soon. I wish them all the best.”

The cause of the fire has been recorded as accidental.

Since the fire on Sunday, both the fire service and residents in the area have been praised for their reaction.

Andrew Albert, 38, of Stirling Place, said: “It looks as those the fuse board blew, and it began to ignite all along the power cables.

“The porch went up in flames straight away, and it began to spread along the power cables and before long began smoking at the roof.

“It is a disastrous situation, but what was really lovely to see was that everyone stepped forward to help straight away. “Normally you just see a circle of people filming, but no everyone wanted to help.

“Everyone was bringing out chairs, and blanket and cups of tea for the two woman.

“Three of the four of them offered accommodation, it was heart warming to see.

“It was a really fantastic piece of community spirit, and you must salute the fire guys as well.

“They were here quickly, and worked efficiently. It is a devastating story but at least no-one was hurt.”