A FAMILY have been left homeless after their roof collapsed during a blaze at their home.

The fire took hold of the terraced house in Mellow Purgess, Laindon, at about 10.15am yesterday.

The family, including two young boys, were in at the time. They did not suffer any serious injuries.

However, paramedics did have to treat three people for smoke inhalation, but would not say if theywere members of the family.

Four fire crews tackled the blaze for two hours, while police cordoned off the area.

It is not clear how the blaze started, but it is not being treated as suspicious. Essex Police are jointly investigating with the fire service.

After the fire took hold, the family fled and called on a neighbour for help.

Brooke Burgin, 19, said: “I was with my mum at my nan’s doing her decking.

“She lives right by the house. The family all know my nan very well and all of a sudden they just started shouting out my nan’s name.

“Then we saw the house was alight – I rang the fire brigade straight away.

“We don’t know how it started. It didn’t look too bad at first and then it just got a lot worse.” A woman, who did not want to be identified, said: “It was a big fire – the whole roof has come off. It’s absolutely devastating.”

A fire spokesman said a specialist fire team was sent in to shore up the house.

He added: “The fire was put out by 12.30pm.

“The roof of the house has suffered partial collapse. A family has been left homeless as a result of this.”

Mandie Skeat, Basildon Council’s head of housing and community services, said: “We will be offering temporary accommodation to the tenant and her two sons and will continue to offer ongoing support.”