Firefighters tackle blaze at thatched cottages in Essex

Image caption, The thatched cottages caught fire in the morning (Pic: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service)

Firefighters have tackled a blaze at two thatched cottages in Essex.

The fire broke out at the semi-detached properties in Stambourne Road, Toppesfield, at about 1000 GMT.

Eight fire engines attended the scene and the blaze was extinguished by early afternoon. The cause is believed to be an accidental chimney fire.

The two occupants are unable to return to their properties due to the damage. The Essex Fire Service crews helped salvage possessions from the fire.

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