AN investigation has found that a piece of key equipment failed, causing a fire on an electricity cable in a busy Rochford road.

More than 140 homes and some businesses suffered a power cut, when emergency services were called to Ashingdon Road, Rochford last month.

Some residents had to stay indoors and motorists were blocked from driving between Roche Avenue and Dalys Road to prevent them from coming in contact with burning cables.

A total of 142 homes and shops lost power in the incident last month.

A spokeswoman for UK Power Networks has confirmed faulty equipment was to blame.

She said: “I can confirm that it was a piece of equipment which failed at the pole and generated heat causing the fault and fire.

“It was the connection point between the cable and the pole.

“We appreciate how difficult it is to be without power and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

The sparks from the fault caused nearby bin lids to catch fire.

Southend Standard:

Picture by reader Martin Lane.

Resident Ben Williams, 24, was with his fiancé and her brother at his nearby home at the time.

He said the next day: “It sounded like fireworks going off in the street, but I looked outside. There were sparks outside the window, and our power went off.

“There were already firemen outside. We think it must have been on fire for a little while before it started sparking, but we were told to wait inside.

“We were talking to the firemen out of the window throughout it, and we had to wait inside until it had all finished.”