FIREFIGHTERS battled to save a pre-school engulfed in flames.

Crews were called to Busy Bees Pre-School, in Laindon Link, Laindon, this afternoon after smoke was spotted by residents.

The roof was almost fully alight and crews worked for more than three hours to get the blaze under control.

The building, and those nearby, were evacuated as firefighters across Essex worked to put out the flames.

Residents watched on from a safe distance.

By 6pm one crew remained at the scene to dampen down any hotspots.

It is not known what cause the flames.