A FIRE in a top floor flat cause by a gas explosion has left residents homeless.

The gas explosion took place earlier today at three-story block of flats, Appleford Court, in Pitsea.

One man was taken to hospital for burns to his legs.

Fire crews worked for several hours to ensure the fire was under control, but requested four more crews and an aerial ladder platform.

Southend Standard:

The Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team will use monitoring equipment to look for any signs of collapse in the building and to assess structural damage.

A cordon is in place to prevent any risk to the public.

Essex Police has closed Halston Way, Woodcote Crescent and Kingsdown Close.