FIRE destroyed an HGV crane worth £500,000  at a Rayleigh building business this morning.

Fire crews were called to the blaze on the Brook Road industrial estate at 8.49am this morning.

Two crews attended from Rayleigh Weir station wore breathing apparatus and used two hose reel jets and foam to put the fire out by 9.29am.

The fire, at Business and Engineering Services Crane Hire in Sirdar Road, was thought to have started accidentally through an electrical fault.

The crane, said to cost £500,000, was said to be 'well alight' and is now written off, greatly affecting business owner Brian Charters, 70.

He said: "It's my livelihood, I was supposed to be in South Woodham Ferrers this morning, using it to lift roof trusses for some girl guides."