A woman has been left temporarily homeless following a fire which was started by faulty equipment.

The 60-year-old was heard shouting for help from her back garden as the fire spread through her home in Monkwick Avenue on Sunday afternoon.

Neighbours rushed to call the fire brigade and ensure other elderly residents living next door also escaped.

Three fire crews had put the blaze out within 20 minutes but the whole property appeared to be smoke damaged and black with soot.

The woman was taken to Colchester General Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

The property belonged to Colchester Borough Homes and a spokesman said: "Having somewhere warm, dry and comfortable to stay is of the utmost importance when unfortunate incidents like this occur.

“A considerable amount of work is required to bring the property back to how it was prior to Sunday’s fire."