FIVE horses have tragically died in a barn fire.

The fire broke out at a property in Stanford Road, Orsett yesterday evening.

The barn fire saw more than 40 separate calls to 999.

The incident happened shortly after 7pm.

A spokesman for Essex Fire Service said: "On arrival firefighters reported that the barm which measured around 20m x 10m, and was home to five horses, was completely alight.

"Firefighters worked quickly to surround the fire and extinguished it by 8pm.

"Sadly all five horses died at the scene.

"A fire investigation has been carried out and the cause of the fire has been recorded as accidental or deliberate, both possibilities."