A FIRE has broken out at the old Esplanade pub in Southend just one month after the last incident.

Firefighters are currently on scene of the fire at the derelict pub building, which is believed to have started at around 3.50am this morning.


The fire has been ripping through the building. Pic - Johnny Walker

A spokesman for the fire service said: "Firefighters were called to a fire in a derelict pub in Southend.

"On arrival firefighters reported that smoke was coming from the first floor of the building and worked to extinguish the fire by 5.30am. 

"Crews were then called back to the location at 7.10am and confirmed that the fire had reignited. 

"At 7.45am firefighters reported that the floor inside the building was unstable so it was necessary to withdraw firefighters from the building and continue tackling the fire from the outside. 

"At this time two crews from Southend, one from Leigh, one from Rayleigh Weir, one from Shoeburyness, one from Rochford and an aerial ladder platform from Grays had been called to the scene."

The pub suffered an arson attack on November 26, making this fire the latest in a long line of incidents since the pub closed down a few years ago.

Eastern Esplanade is currently closed.

This is the sixth time in the past two years that the Esplanade pub building has been set on fire.

There were four previous fires in June and July last year, and a confirmed arson attack on November 26 this year.

Southend residents are reporting the smoke can be seen from Thorpe Bay.

Station Manager Dave Walpole said: "The fire is now under control [9.15pm] and we will stay on scene to continue dampening down and ensuring the site is safe.

"The fire has produced a lot of smoke, so we recommend that any nearby residents close windows and doors until it has visibly cleared."