A ground floor flat in Westcliff has been damaged after a fire broke out yesterday. 

Firefighters from Southend and Leigh were called to deal with the incident in Claremont Road at 7pm. 

They had been contacted by a neighbour and arrived to find the fire inside the flat was spreading quickly. 

Crews were able to extinguish the blaze but were unable to prevent fire and smoke damage to the property. 

An investigation has found the cause of the fire was accidental.

Watch Manager Scott Ford, from Southend Fire Station, said: "We implemented the building's stay-put policy which meant other residents could stay safely in their homes rather than coming out into the shared hallway which was heavily smoke logged.

"Our crews worked well to contain the fire to the flat's lounge and hallway and quickly brought it under control before ventilating the building."