HEROIC firefighters have been praised for stopping a ferocious blaze which started in a car spreading into a house.

The Ford Puma, which was parked in Queens Mews, West Mersea, suddenly burst into flames on Wednesday evening.

Neighbours and people working in nearby businesses rushed to the scene to try to extinguish the fire.

They were quickly joined by firefighters from Colchester and an on-call unit from West Mersea.

The flames had spread to a nearby garage but they prevented it going into any homes.

Tools and other items in the garage were also wrecked.

The blaze has been officially recorded as accidental.


The owner of the garage, whose son’s car was written-off in the blaze, paid tribute to the firefighters and others who helped.

He said: “The car developed some kind of fault – we are not sure what – and we thinking it sparked a fuel line.

“The car then started to burn which caught the door of the garage.

“But the firefighters were amazing, as were the people like our neighbours and businesses nearby.

“The firefighters were here in two minutes flat and obviously had exactly the right equipment for the what they were dealing and checked all the hotspots with thermal imaging equipment making sure it was all totally safe.

“It sounds like a cliché, and you hear people say it, but the flames were so high.

“The people who came to try and help us were amazing – we even had people from the Mersea Island Fish Bar around the corner arrive with their extinguishers to help.

“There are still buckets of water strewn around now.

“I would like to express my thanks to the people who were on shift on that night.

“Without them, who knows what would have happened.

“I recognised some of the guys who attended and would love to thank them.

“It could have been a whole lot worse.”

West Mersea firefighters who were called to this incident are on-call firefighters who live or work within five minutes of the island’s fire station.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is recruiting people for the role.

For more information visit join.essex-fire.gov.uk/on-call.