A FIRE which spread to two houses in Shoebury may have been accelerated by rubbish nearby, firefighters say.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has issued advice on storing rubbish after the blaze in Jena Close, Shoebury. 

>> Family's devastation as blaze guts home

The fire soon spread to the roof and to the house next door causing significant damage. 

Watch Manager Mark Crouch, operational and community risk officer issued guidance to avoid risk.

He said: “Place the refuse outside on the collection day, ensuring this is in line with local authorities and do not store rubbish in corridors and stairwells. You need to keep your escape route in your home clear.

“Where possible, try to maintain a 3m safe distance from your buildings and avoid having bonfires near a build up of rubbish, sheds, fences, trees and plants. 

“Please don’t burn your rubbish and garden waste, many recycling centres are starting to open up again now. 

“Contact your local authority to check for any current arrangements with regards to collections and opening times/arranges of local recycling sites."

For more home fire safety advice, visit: essex-fire.gov.uk/staysafe