A GRATEFUL mother has thanked the heroes who helped to rescue her young daughter from a burning flat after a fire quickly spread.

Levi Cornish was forced to lower her five-year-old daughter from the window of her first floor home after a blaze ignited outside the front door.

Two young men, who were working at the nearby One Stop corner shop, in St John's Road, Clacton, alerted the fire service and grabbed a fire extinguisher.

They tackled the flames at the front door and attempted to enter the property several times.

Meanwhile a family friend of Miss Cornish, who asked to remain anonymous, helped to lower the little girl to safety.

"The fire started outside the property and smashed the front windows of my partner's games room, which was completely destroyed," said Miss Cornish

"My partner's friend ran round and he is the one I lowered my daughter to.

"His brother then sat with her while she was receiving treatment.

"I then climbed onto the ledge, as I couldn't breathe in the room anymore due to the smoke."

Crews with Essex Fire Service arrived and used a ladder to get to Miss Cornish.

The devastated mother thanked the two corner shop workers for their help.

The two modest men, both aged in their 20s, said trying to tackle the fire felt like the natural thing to do.

The heat was so intense, it melted one of the worker's shoes.

"I'm grateful for the boys' bravery in trying to stop the fire and for alerting the neighbours," she said.

"The boy tried to control the fire and I am extremely grateful for this.

"Me and my daughter got discharged from hospital and the damage to the flat has destroyed us.

"We have had to move as the flat is destroyed and totally uninhabitable.

"The fire started outside and we don’t believe it was accidental - the police are being involved."

Essex Fire Service insist the blaze was started accidentally and originated from a room inside the flat.

A spokesman said: “Following an investigation, the cause of the fire was recorded as accidental. The evidence of fire spread and damage pointed to an origin in the corner of the room.”