Thick plumes of black smoke were spotted rising into the sky after shopping trolleys full of rubbish caught on fire.

Witnesses spotted the smoke rising from behind St Nicholas Church in Laindon yesterday afternoon.

Fire crews rushed to the incident in St Nicholas Lane and say the cause of the blaze has been recorded as unknown.

The Essex Fire Service spokesman said: "We were called at 6.33pm to St Nicholas Lane. Fire crews dealt with a fire in a number of trolleys that were filled with rubbish and had been set on fire. The fire cause was recorded as deliberate."