FIREFIGHTERS rescued a man after he tried to battle a blaze in the first floor of an office block.

He was taken to hospital after suffering from smoke inhalation.

Fire crews arrived at the building at Southcurch Road, in Southend, at around 6.30pm on Thursday, April 11.

They reported the middle floor of the three-storey building was filled with smoke and a fire was burning in a filing room.

The office building is rented by three different companies, including a mortgage advice company.

The floor where the fire started is rented by Begbies Traynor Group Insolvency Practitioners.

The blaze took around an hour and a half to completely extinguish.

A spokesman for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said: “Crews used a positive pressure ventilation fan to clear the premises of smoke and were able to extinguish the fire by 7.55pm - managing to ensure the building escaped damage beyond the room the fire started in.

“The cause of the fire has been recorded as accidental - we believe a faulty light fitting ignited and spread to some files below.

“One man was left in the care of the ambulance service after attempting to tackle the fire with a fire extinguisher and suffering smoke inhalation, but fortunately, no-one has been seriously injured.”

The following day, it appeared to be business as usual, but an Anglia Fire van could be seen in the car park, and the stairwells were in the process of being repainted.

A spokesperson for the East of England Ambulance Service, said: “We were called following reports of a fire at a building in Southchurch Road, Southend, at around 6,45pm.

“We treated one person at the scene and transported them to Southend Hospital.”

A Begbies Traynor spokesman said: “We can confirm that a small fire limited to a first floor filing room occurred at our Southchurch Road premises last night, which was thankfully quickly extinguished by the fire service.

“The floor in question sustained smoke and water damage during the fire and will not be immediately habitable.A full assessment of what caused the fire and thorough clean-up operation is now taking place and it is envisaged that the building will be fully functioning and habitable again following the Easter weekend. In the meantime, we have put in place our documented incident response plan and alternative working arrangements have been put in place for all staff from Monday 15 April.“The structural integrity of the building was unaffected by the incident and we currently have electricians on site assessing the extent of water damage to the electrical items.“

“Following the incident, one member of staff was admitted to hospital as a precaution but has thankfully since been discharged in good health.

“We are unable to confirm the cause of the fire until a full assessment has been carried out.”