FAMILIES have been left homeless after an unattended bonfire caused a massive blaze in St Osyth.

Fire crews were called to Norman Way, Point Clear, at about 12.10pm.

One chalet has been destroyed, while another has suffered damage to its roof and a third has been affected externally.


  • Fire - fire crews at the scene in Norman Way, Point Clear

A car in the road, next to Orchards Holiday Village, has also been damaged.

Two dogs were rescued by firefighters during the incident.


  • Rescued - two dogs were rescued by fire crews. Picture: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

Stevie Steel, who lives in nearby Colne Way, witnessed black smoke billowing from the chalet.

"I smelled it at first and looked out to see lots of smoke," she said.

"We ran outside and the smoke was covering the sky and sun - it was terrifying."


  • Aftermath - the damage left by the fire. Picture: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

"The chalet went up really quickly - there were lots of black smoke.

"It caught on to others and an electricity pole - I'm just glad it didn't spread any further than it did."


  • Blaze - the fire affected several chalets

A spokesman for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said crews from Clacton, Weeley, Brightlingsea and Colchester were called to the scene.

"On arrival, crews confirmed that several structures were affected by the fire, which covered an area of around 30 square metres," he said.

"Firefighters worked alongside the electric board to ensure the area, which includes overhead powerlines, is safe.

"At 1pm, the officer in charge advised that the incident had been 'sectorised' - divided into separate areas to ensure crews prevent it from spreading."


  • Firefighters called to massive blaze at buildings in St Osyth. Picture: @AdamRoxby

The officer reported that the fire was surrounded by 1.25pm.

The spokesman added: "The Red Cross have been called to the scene due to the impact the fire has had on several chalets.

"Unfortunately several people have been left homeless."

The fire was extinguished by 2.33pm.


  • Stevie Steel captured this image of the blaze

Station manager Steve Wintrip said: "Firefighters have done a fantastic job here today of preventing this fire, which was spreading rapidly when they arrived, from reaching any further chalets.

"As well as it being a very warm day, crews were working against the wind from the coast in a challenging situation - this could easily have affected many more people and their property.

"This once again shows how dangerous it can be to leave bonfires unattended or positioned near to anything which may lead to it spreading.

"If you are planning on starting one, please position it well away from any buildings, sheds or fences - and keep a close eye on it until it is fully extinguished."