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Barking dogs alert owners as fire tears through house in Essex

Barking dogs alerted the owners of a house badly damaged by a fire in Essex in the early hours.

Crews from stations including Stansted Airport and Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire, attended the scene in Dunmow Road in Takeley at around 2.40am on Sunday.

Officials said the fire started in an outbuilding at the back of the property.

Essex Fire and Rescue shared images of the aftermath on Twitter, adding: “Crews have extinguished a house fire in Takeley this morning.”

An investigation is now under way into the cause of the fire.

Station manager Terry Maherm said the homeowners were alerted to the fire by their dogs. Firefighters also managed to save horses in a nearby stable.

"The fire started in an outbuilding at the rear of the property and quickly spread to the roof of the house."

He added: "Crews worked incredibly hard, particularly due to the limited water supply, and did a fantastic job in saving the property and horses who were in a nearby stable.

"I'd also like to thank Stansted Airport Fire Service who were able to support us."

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The road will remain closed and a diversion will be in place while work continues at the scene.