AS many as 50 animals were rescued following a huge fire at an industrial unit next to a vets in Basildon.

Police, firefighters and paramedics, alongside workers from UK Power Networks, were called to the blaze in Gardiners Lane South, shortly after 1.45pm on Thursday.

Officers immediately shut off the area while eight fire crews, including an Aerial Ladder Platform, worked to extinguish the inferno.

While tackling the blaze it was soon established a large number of animals were receiving treatment at the neighbouring Southfields Veterinary Specialists.

Staff at the vets quickly worked to evacuate every animal, with Essex Police liaising with colleagues to ensure the safety of all involved.

Echo: Poorly - Poorly animals were rescued by staff and the policePoorly - Poorly animals were rescued by staff and the police (Image: Essex Police)
Poorly animals were taken to a nearby vets so their treatment could be resumed with police helping complete their journeys.

The cause of the fire has since been deemed to be non-suspicious.

Echo: Smoke - The smoke from the blaze next to SouthfieldsSmoke - The smoke from the blaze next to Southfields (Image: Sam Cox)
Acting Inspector Kirsty Flynn, of Basildon Local Policing Team, said: “It doesn’t matter whether we receive a report of a crime in progress or a concern for welfare, priority one for us is protecting life, and keeping the public safe.”