FIREFIGHTERS battled to contain a fire which destroyed a tractor and trailer in a crop field.

Crews were called to the blaze, in Halstead Road, Gosfield, just before midnight yesterday.

An Essex Fire Service spokesman said a tractor and a large bailer unit were fully ablaze, along with parts of the surrounding field.

A man suffering the effects of smoke inhalation was given first aid by firefighters before being left in the care of the ambulance service.

The fire was extinguished by 12.55am and crews remained at the scene for a further two hours while they dampened down the area.

The cause of the fire was recorded as accidental.

Jake Perrie, of Chapel Hill, Halstead, was sleeping in his summer house to escape the summer heat when he heard a "bang like a gas explosion."

"One bang went off and then another maybe five minutes later," he said.

"It really startled me, my dogs started barking.

"It was that loud that it actually rattled the summer house a bit. 

"I was going to call the police because I initially thought there were some kids up to mischief in the fields behind where I live - I could hear a group of kids laughing in the distance.

"But then I could see some blue flashing lights and I didn’t hear anything else after that."

Crews from Sible Hedingham, Halstead and Colchester were on the scene.

The spokesman called for fit and able people to consider signing up as on-call firefighters.

He said: "Like many of our fire stations, Sible Hedingham and Halstead are crewed by on-call firefighters.

"If you're aged 18 or over, live or work within five minutes of an on-call fire station and are physically fit you could be paid to protect your local community."

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