Firefighters are telling people to keep their windows and doors shut as they battle a blaze at an industrial unit in Braintree.

Crews were called to the fire in Convent Lane at 12.30pm today, Friday, December 31.

A spokesman for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said: "On arrival, crews reported that an industrial unit - measuring approximately 60 metres by 20 metres - was 100% alight. The unit is being used for storage.

"Crews are working to extinguish a fire in an industrial unit being used to store recyclable materials.

"Crews are working with partners to remove the recyclable material from the building to extinguish it outside.

"If you live in the area, please keep your windows and doors shut. Please avoid the area while emergency services deal with this incident."

In a later statement a spokesman said that there are now three crews - originally there were eight - at the scene of the fire and are likely to be there throughout the night to extinguish the blaze.

One eyewitness said they saw "huge plumes of black smoke" and has counted numerous fire engines travelling to tackle the blaze.

Crews from Braintree, Colchester, Chelmsford, Halstead, Corringham Water Bowser and Witham Incident Command Unit have been in attendance.