HOMES were evacuated in the early hours today after fire ripped through a former Army stable block in Colchester.

Seven crews of firefighters were called after the blaze broke out just after midnight today.

Flames caused major damage to the derelict building off Roman Circus Walk which was undergoing conversion.

Firefighters fought the fire for five hours and are still on scene damping down hotspots.

Homes near the site were evacuated with about 30 people affected.

For more on this story, watch this website and see Monday's Gazette.