Essex: ‘Huge fire’ panics residents

A HUGE fire erupted on Saturday night completely destroying a Portacabin near a children’s playground and recreation area.

Three crews from Dunmow, Stansted and Bishop Stortford were called to Hatfield Broad Oak Road, in Takeley shortly before 10pm.

When they arrived, the building was already completely alight and several owners of properties close by had gathered around concerned at what had happened.

David Edwards lives just a few feet away at Takeley Park. He said: “It was a massive blaze. When we first saw it we thought it was a lot closer and we feared it could spread from home to home.

“The sky was lit up by flames and smoke, with lighted ash splaying onto the residential units.

“The residents of Takeley Park are mainly over 55 years old. Some in their late nineties, to have an occurrence of this kind, can unsettle the peace and harmony, which is presently enjoyed.”

Mr Edwards said that the Portacabin, which measured 5 x 20 metres, was in the process of being renovated and converted into sporting changing facilities for children.

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He added: “It was going to be a valuable asset for the benefit of youngsters and Takeley Football Club’s youth teams.”

Crews were forced to use breathing apparatus as they battered the flames down with water jets – the managed to extinguish the fire by 11pm.