A fire at Colne View Retail Park saw three emergency crews rush to put out the blaze yesterday evening.

Firefighters were called to a building at the rear of the Pets at Home store at 11.08pm when the smoke alarm sounded.

Although the store is open as normal, the veterinary surgery, Vets4Pets, is shut.

No animals were involved in the fire.

The fire brigade estimated that around about 20 per cent of the rear retail unit was in flames.

It was later confirmed that a piece of equipment left charging overnight was the source of the fire.

It took the crews over an hour to clear the building of smoke, but the majority of the building is thought to be intact.

Gazette: Three crews were called to put out the fireThree crews were called to put out the fire

Crew manager at Colchester fire station, Luke Beardmore, said: “Crews from Colchester and Clacton worked really hard in challenging conditions.

“Thanks to their quick action, we were able to prevent the fire from spreading to other areas of the building.

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“The fire was caused by a piece of equipment which was left charging overnight and caught fire.

“We would encourage everyone to supervise electrical items while charging, and avoid leaving appliances charging overnight.

“Batteries can quickly overheat if they are overcharged and are regular causes of fires in Essex.”

Pets at Home has been contacted by the Gazette for comment.