A BOAT house at Lake Meadows in Billericay has been destroyed after it was engulfed in flames.

Essex Fire Service was called to an incident near Lake Avenue, in Billericay, at 10.50am this morning.

On arrival, crews confirmed that a building, measuring around 15m by 20m, was alight.

Water was taken from a nearby lake to put the fire out as quick as possible but a “significant amount of damage” had already been done.

The park team at Lake Meadows, kept the public at a safe distance within the park while crews tackled the blaze.

One witness, Mike Ockelford, was at the park with his grandchildren when the fire started. He described what he saw and how the flames "engulfed the roof" of the property. 

He said: “I was sitting in the park’s café with my grandchildren, Harrison, and Austin, at approximately 10.57 am.

“We saw the smoke coming from the lake’s side.

“We went over and discovered smoke coming from the old boat house.

“We observed from a distance and was told the fire brigade were on there way.

“The flames soon took hold, and the roof was engulfed in flames – which the firefighters extinguished soon after arriving.

"You don't expect to see buildings in flames in your local park, once we realised how serious it was, we retreated to a safe distance, where other onlookers had gathered."

Essex Fire say that following a fire investigation, the cause has been recorded as undetermined – meaning it is unclear how the fire began and whether it was accidental or deliberate.

Crew Manager, Fin Tubby, from Basildon Fire Station, pass his thanks the park team for keeping members of the public safe while they dealt with the fire. 

He said: “Crews drew water from a nearby lake to put the fire out but unfortunately a significant amount of damage had already been done.

“I would like to thank the members of the park team who did such a great job at keeping the public back and making sure everyone was safe.”