Essex

Fire crews 'had no water supply' at barracks in Essex

Fire at old barracks in Colchester
Image caption The empty building had been due to be demolished, the fire service said

Firefighters from two counties were hampered by a lack of water as they worked for more than five hours at an army barracks in Essex.

A derelict building at the garrison in Mersea Road, Colchester, was destroyed by fire on Sunday evening.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service said supplies of water had to be brought in because there were no working hydrants on site.

The cause of the fire is being treated as suspicious.

More than 35 firefighters from Essex and Suffolk were on site at the peak of the incident, which began at 1800 BST and was put out at 2340 BST.

Assistant divisional officer Iain Macleod said: "Crews have been hampered by the real difficulties we have faced in establishing a water supply to tackle the fire with.

"The building itself was set for demolition and has suffered extensive damage as a result of the fire."

One crew remained at the building damping down until 0830 BST.

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