A driver narrowly escaped a fire as huge flames engulfed her car.

The vehicle burst into flames in Louis Drive, Rayleigh at about 7am this morning.

Witnesses described how the woman jumped out of the smoking car.

One woman said: "There was a big car fire just before 7 am this morning. A young lady saw smoke coming from her bonnet and stopped.

"She opened it up and it blew up in flames, the firefighter were only a couple of minutes away and the windows were smashing with heat."

An Essex County Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “Firefighters were called to a vehicle fire on Louis Drive, Rayleigh at 7am this morning.

"On arrival, crews reported that a vehicle was alight and worked to extinguish the fire by 7:34am.”