A family have been left homeless after fire destroyed their home.

It happened in Bruton Avenue, Westcliff today at 12:06pm.

Three crews rushed to the scene.

When crews arrived they reported that there was a well developed fire in a first floor bedroom.

Firefighters managed to extinguish the fire by 12:25pm.

The upstairs of the house has suffered severe fire damage and as a result is no longer habitable.

Station Manager Martyn Hare said: "Following an investigation we believe the fire started after a portable heater was accidentally knocked over as someone left the room.

"The house had no smoke alarms meaning there was a delay in the fire being discovered and calling us out.

"This incident shows that it is vital to have a working smoke alarm on every floor - it will alert you to the first sign of fire so you can get out, stay out and call 999."