THE fire service has issued an update on its investigation into the inferno which destroyed Billericay's landmark former Reids Bar.

Firefighters were called to Laindon Road, in Billericay at around 6.30am yesterday morning following reports of a large fire at the derelict building. 

Firefighters remained on the scene for a total of 17 hours, with the incident scaled down to one crew by 6pm who worked throughout the night to make the building structurally safe and monitor hotspots.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service has now revealed the fire investigation has come back with the cause recorded as "undetermined".

A spokesman said: "An investigation was carried out and the cause of the fire was undetermined."

The bar has been closed for several years and was hit by a blaze in 2022 - remaining derelict ever since. 

Residents described seeing parts of the building collapse as they watched six fire crews working to tackle the blaze from nearby streets. 

Part of the building, which is Grade II listed, is understood to have been destroyed while the neighbouring Little Legs Pre School also suffered smoke damage. 

Images show only part of the brick wall and wooden frames survived the fire. 

Residents described thick black smoke covering Laindon Road “like a fog”, as the fierce fire ripped the building apart “piece by piece.”