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A man has been left homeless after a fire destroyed his house near Colchester.
Firefighters were called to the property on Frating Road in Great Bromley at about 15.15 yesterday (Thursday May 9th) to find the ground floor of the semi-detached house well alight.
The 46-year-old was given oxygen after suffering breathing difficulties from the fire.
A joint operation between Essex Fire and Rescue Service and Essex Police will be carried out to find out how the fire started.
The property had a smoke alarm but no working batteries.
"It's all very well getting a smoke alarm installed but unless you test it regularly and ensure its fully functioning and batteries are changed regularly, then it is not going to alert you to danger in the event of fire," said Assistant Divisional Officer Pete Bennett.
"We recommend testing your alarm part of household routine - that way it can be relied on as a potentially life saving device."