A family have escaped a fire but have been left homeless after a devastating blaze took hold of their home.

Firefighters rushed to the scene on Great Knightleys, Basildon, at around 10pm last night after receiving reports a mid-terraced house was on fire.

When crews arrived they reported that the first floor of the house was completely alight, and that smoke was pouring out of the upstairs windows.

Firefighters, who were wearing breathing apparatus, entered the property and managed to get access to the first floor to extinguish the fire.

The first floor of the property has suffered significant fire damage from the blaze, which has rendered the house unhabitable.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Watch Manager Rob Fossett, said: "The fire crews did a brilliant job at getting this intense fire under control so quickly and stopping it from damaging the adjoining houses.

"The first floor of the property was completely on fire when we got to the incident, and the conditions inside the property were extremely hot and intense. 

"Firefighters not only managed to extinguish the fire before it could spread to the other houses, but they also found and rescued a large dog from the first floor, who was very luckily unharmed by the fire.

"Thankfully the property had working smoke alarms, which alerted the occupants to the fire. Incidents like this show how quickly a fire can develop, and how important it is to have working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms give an early warning so that everyone can get out, stay out and call the fire service out.

"If anyone in Essex reading this does not have working smoke alarms, please call us today and book a home safety visit where we will provide and fit smoke alarms completely free of charge. Call: 0300 303 0088 or book online: www.essex-fire.gov.uk/book"