A FAMILY of three and their puppy have been left homeless after a devastating fire swept through their home.

Firefighters from Orsett, Southend, Leigh and Rayleigh Weir battled searing heat and flames at the property in Hart Road, Thundersley.

The blaze, which was first reported at 10.30pm on Friday, had spread from the first floor of the two-storey detached house and into the roof space.

The house has been left fire and smoke damaged and an investigation into the cause of the fire was underway throughout the weekend.

After the fire, the family was being supported by the Red Cross and one resident was treated by the ambulance service for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters spent more than two-and-a-half hours tackling the fire and finally put it out by 1am on Saturday.

An outpouring of support followed from neighbours and wellwishers.

Generous Good Samaritans donated items, including clothes and toys, throughout the weekend.

In a post on social media, a friend of the family said: “I’m so gutted for my friend and her beautiful girl.

“It is the ultimate eye opener to never ever take life for granted because it can be taken from you so quickly.

“Thank God they got out safely.”

A fundraising page was started in a bid to raise £5,000 to help the family get back on their feet before Christmas.

The page said: “Tragically a young local family’s rented home caught fire due to ongoing electrical problems, leaving a devastated mother and child.

“Please help donate in any way you can.

“Coming up to Christmas and now being homeless is something nobody deserves.”

By yesterday, 136 donors had given £2,500 towards the appeal.

To offer your support, visit gofundme.com/f/helping-young-homeless-family-from-house-fire.