Bosses of the South Essex Wildlife Hospital say the charity service is lucky to still be here after a huge blaze destroyed its equipment and parts of its garden.

Here's all we know about the fire which took place just feet away from the stable block and hospital.

The charity service founder and manager Sue spotted the smoke just feet away from the stable block and hospital and went next door to discover a fire.

Whilst watching flames engulf the boundary conifer trees and rise higher than their house, she dialed 999 Luckily, crews arrived at the scene quickly and soon cut the locks on the gates to the yard to gain access.

The firefighters immediately prioritised saving the house which was seconds away from burning as the hospital says the guttering was "already melting and falling off".


Following the fire, a large area of the garden and about 20 large conifers, planted when the hospital was first built, have been destroyed.

The hospital has also lost equipment, stored in containers in the yard, to smoke damage.

Sadly, they also suspect there were nesting birds in the trees.

A South Essex Wildlife Hospital spokesman said: "At a time when we are so busy and other rescues are cutting their hours or shut as they are full, we are very lucky to even be here today."

They added: "We are so grateful to the firemen - we counted at least 18 - who saved our hospital and all of our patients within it today, their professionalism and focus was outstanding.

"We shall be writing a letter of thanks to their HQ.

"All we could offer them all was a cold can of pepsi, as a t1 diabetic sue always has a fridge full, but we owe them so much more. Thank you gentlemen, you are true heros."