Fire fighters were called to a boiler fire this morning in Stanford-le-Hope.

The fire started in the blocked flue of the gas boiler at a property on St Margarets Avenue shortly before 9am.

Two crews from Corringham and Orsett extinguished the fire by 9.42am.

Station officer Geoff Wheal said the occupants had been alerted to a problem in the boiler by their carbon monoxide detector at the weekend, but chose to ignore it.

He said: “The alarm had gone off at the weekend and rather than taking action about the carbon monoxide leak they had removed the alarm instead.

“There was obviously something blocking the flue which caused the alarm to go off and today caused the fire in their boiler.

He added: "It is never sensible to ignore a carbon monoxide detector when it is going off. Immediately turn the boiler off, ventilate the property and call the gas board.

“Taking the alarm out of the cupboard and ignoring the problem is the worst plan you could ever make.

“Had they reacted properly when the alarm first went off they could have made sure they were safe in their home and prevented a fire in their boiler.”