Flats evacuated after 'arson attack' in South Ockendon

Nine flats had to be evacuated following a suspected arson attack in Essex.

Fire crews were called to the blaze at a block of flats in Eden Green in South Ockendon, near Thurrock, at about 05:00 BST on Saturday.

Several people were taken to hospital for treatment for the effects of smoke inhalation before being released.

Police said inquiries by the fire service and police have indicated that the fire was started deliberately.

Officers are particularly interested in a man who was seen acting suspiciously near to the area at the time.

He is described as white, of skinny build, with short brown hair. He was wearing a light coloured short sleeved top, blue denim jeans and had a dark coloured square-shaped bag across his chest.

Anyone with information is asked to call Essex Police.

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