Firefighters were called to tackle a fire in a three-storey derelict pub/restaurant building.
Initially two appliances were sent to the scene, but on arrival, the incident commander requested the attendance of an aerial ladder platform and an additional pumping appliance.
At 21:37 hrs, crews reported that the whole of the building is smoke logged and the ground floor is well alight.
At 22:11 hrs, the incident commander requested the attendance of an additional two crews. At this time, crews report that the first floor and roof of the building, measuring approximately 20m x 20m, were well alight and that there was a danger of the fire spreading to a neighbouring derelict building.
One main jet was in use as firefighters work to deal with the incident. Operations were being hindered by a shortage of water.
The incident was dealt with by 23:44 hrs and crews prevented spread from the building to a next door property. In all, three main jets, two hose reels, one aerial ladder plaform and a light portable pump were used in firefighting operations.
Two crews returned to the scene at 00:30 hrs to ensure no hotspots had developed and that the fire was fully extinguished.
A joint Police and Fire Service investigation will be carried out to establish the cause of the incident which is thought to be suspicious.
Firefighters have returned to a derelict hotel building for the second time in two days. The fire is thought to have been started deliberately once again and there will be a joint Police and Fire Service investigation into the incident.
Firefighters from Grays were originally sent to the scene, but on arrival, the officer in charge requested the attendance of an additional crews, an aerial ladder platform and a hose-layer.
At 13:07 hrs, crews report that the two-storey derelict building, measuring 40 m x 20m, is well alight and the whole of the property is heavily smoke logged.
Police have been called to the scene to close the road and control traffic in the area, not far from the busy Lakeside shopping centre.
At 16:05 hrs, crews reported that steady progress was being made in extinguishing the fire. Firefighters are turning over and damping down. A two pump relief is now at the scene.