THE former Odeon cinema in Crouch Street, Colchester has been set on fire again.

Seven fire crews were called to the derelict building at 7.58pm today.

They were still at the scene almost three hours later.

The fire service said the ground floor of the three storey building was full of smoke. Firefighters entered and extinguished the fire.

The cause of the fire is unknown and an investigation will take place.

The Gazette reported in October that Blumarble Property, which is behind a £10 million plan to create 57 apartments in the Crouch Street building, was subject of an enforcement notice from Colchester Council due to the state of the building.

Seventy firefighters tackled a blaze at the former picturehouse in October last year, which the fire service confirmed was started deliberately.

The building has been empty since Odeon closed the cinema in 2002 and moved to its current site in Head Street. See our gallery of old pictures here.