HUNDREDS of homes suffered a power cut, when sparking and burning electricity cables closed a busy road.

Emergency services were called to Ashingdon Road, Rochford, and nearby Somerset Avenue to keep the public clear of the burning cables.

Some residents had to stay indoors and motorists were blocked from driving between Roche Avenue and Dalys Road as 142 homes and shops lost power.

Ashingdon Road resident Ben Williams, fiance Gemma Yates and her brother, Adam Yates, were astonished to see sparks outside their window.

Mr Williams, 24, said: “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.”

After the fire was out, Mr Williams realised one of his bin lids had been set alight by the sparks.

A large crowd gathered further along the street to watch the firefighters.

Paul Shearsby, 45, who also lives in Ashingdon Road said: “I was sitting inside watching TV. Our lights started to flicker and I could hear a noise. I came outside and the fire brigade was there really quickly.

"They didn’t put a hose on it, but they put the fire out where it had extended on to people’s bins.”

Resident Martin Lane took this picture of the incident:

Southend Standard:

A UK Power Networks spokesman said: “Our engineers worked as quickly and safely as possible to restore power to customers in the Somerset Avenue and Ashingdon Road area of Rochford.

“Electricity supplies were interrupted at about 5.50pm. All customers were returned to power at around 11.45pm.

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

The cause of Wednesday night’s fire is still being investigated.

Workers from the company remained in the road all day on Thursday, working on the cables.