Pictures from the scene show the devastation caused by a fire at a derelict pub.

The Admiral Jellicoe on Canvey High Street caught fire at around 7.21pm last night.

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At least seven fire engines were dispatched to tackle the blaze, which by the time the crews arrived had encompassed most of the building.

A spokesman for Essex Fire Service said: "The officer in charge immediately requested the support of an Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP) to allow firefighters to spray water on the building from height.

"At 8pm, the Officer in Charge reported that 100 per cent of the roof and much of the first floor was on fire.

"At 8.45pm, the Officer in Charge advised that the fire was surrounded. Crews expected to remain at the scene for several hours due to the scale of the fire.

"At 10pm, steady progress was being made. The incident has been sectorised - meaning firefighters are working in three different areas at the scene to control the fire.

"At 10.30pm, the Officer in Charge advised that the incident will soon be downgraded to three fire engines and an ALP."

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Fire crews remained on the site for most of the night. Much of the building is understood to have been destroyed.

The fire service will be carrying out an investigation this morning into the cause of the fire, which at this stage remains unknown.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "We are investigating following a fire at a derelict Admiral Jellico pub on Canvey.

"The fire service called us to the site on the High Street at around 7.25pm on Wednesday.

"A search of building was carried out and no-one was found inside however due to the state of the building and the fire it has so far not been safe for a comprehensive search to be carried out.

"A cordon has been put in place around the area but no neighbouring buildings have had to be evacuated.

"The fire service are on scene and have it under control. We are liaising with the fire service to establish the cause."

Although it is unclear how long the Admiral Jellicoe has been on the island, it dates back to at least the early 1940s.

It initially closed in January 2017 mysteriously, and a demolition notice was placed on the site in January 2018.

The pub was set to be totally demolished and replaced with 40 flats and a row of shops by Branch Company Ltd.

Plans for the development were approved in December and hoardings were placed around the site.

However in June, Castle Point Council issued a stop notice to the developers who had begun to knock the building down, stating they had not agreed its contributions to the community as part of the development, known as a section 106 agreement.

That demolition was pushed back with the council insisting it needed proper permission.

Anyone with information should call 101 quoting incident 1127 of 10 July or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

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