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4 January 2015, 08:18
Police have started an arson and burglary investigation after a serious house fire in Southend.
Officers were called by the Fire Service at 5.45am yesterday (January 3rd) and initially helped with road closures while they dealt with the blaze.
The householder was not home at the time that the fire started. Police have been working with the Fire Service over the cause of the fire and now believe that it is suspicious.
Detective Constable Chris Adam, of Southend CID, said: "Our enquiry is at an early stage but there is evidence that someone may have been in the house after the owner was last at home.
"If anyone saw any suspicious activity in this area in the last 24 hours, saw anyone in the vicinity at the time that the fire started or know of someone who has come home this morning smelling of smoke, then I would like to hear."
DC Adam can be contacted at Southend Police Station on 101 or people can ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.