THE owner of a seafood outlet has thanked the community for “overwhelming support” after a fire destroyed her business.

Winkles Seafood outside The Great Chalvedon Hall Pub, off Tyefields, Pitsea was completely gutted by the fire.

Southend Standard:

Essex Fire Service crews rushed to the scene and recorded the fire was accidental and caused by an electrical fault.

The firm’s owner took to Facebook to thank residents and customers for their support.

She’s also vowed to rebuild her business.

She posted: “Thank you to each and everyone of you for your kind words and overwhelming support.

“I’m tired, am still in shock and total disbelief.

“Realisation will hit me hard but I’ll get back to you all as soon as I can, it still doesn’t feel real.

“You all know how hard I’ve worked and why I worked to make Winkles be its best.

“It wasn’t just my bills paid and my children fed – it stood for so much more.

“Look at the great support and friends I have gained.

“I owe it to you all to not give up.

“Winkles isn’t finished, I just have some serious re-evaluating to do and I’ll bring it back stronger and better.

“There is good in every bad and you just have to look at it the right way, stay positive and keep smiling with the rest of the world and it will smile back.”

She posted videos of the blaze taking hold of the popular food outlet.

Huge orange flames engulfed the outlet and plumes of thick black smoke filled the area.

Almost 100 people posted kind messages on Facebook.

One said “I am so sorry to read this, your determination will help you succeed, your attitude to life is amazing, I wish you a speedy recovery from this and a very bright future. Bless you.”

An Essex County Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “Firefighters were called to reports of a fire within an outdoor structure in Tyefields, Basildon at 9.38am on Sunday October 6.

“On arrival, crews confirmed that the structure was 100 per cent alight.

“The fire was extinguished by 10.27am. We believe this fire was caused accidentally by an electrical fault.”