FIRE crews desperately worked through the night to tackle a huge blaze which destroyed a home

Firefighters raced to the detached property on Friern Gardens, Wickford, after being called at around 1.37am yesterday to find the ground floor of the building completely alight.

Crews were unable to gain access to the first floor of the heavily smoke logged property due to the failure of an internal staircase, and by 2.51am the entire building had gone up in flames.

In a bid to control the fire, five crews of firefighters attended the scene with teams using an aerial ladder platform to help spray water from above the house.

At 3.25am the incident commander reported good progress was being made and by 7am, only one crew remained at the site to dampen down hotspots in the building.

Despite their best efforts, the house was destroyed in the fire.

Images have emerged of the aftermath of the blaze, which show the roof of the house caved in and the upstairs windows smashed.

Neighbours said they did not believe anyone was inside the house at the time of the fire.

An investigation to establish the cause of the fire will take place in due course.

Wickford Castledon councillor Malcolm Buckley offered his sympathies to the home’s residents.

He said: “My thoughts are with the people who live in the house. This sounds like a devastating fire which is obviously a horrible thing to happen anyway, but especially under the current situation we face.

“If they need any help or support from the council, if that’s something they haven’t already looked into, I know we will assist them in any way possible.

“Of course, we don’t know the cause of the fire and it’s circumstances but this is a warning to people to make sure they have working smoke alarms in their homes. It could be something as simple as changing the battery which could save lives.

“Whatever the cause of this horrible incident we want to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future.

“My heart goes out to those affected, I’m truly sorry.”