Firefighters have been battling a blaze at a derelict pub in Southend.

Smoke was spotted pouring out of the old Esplanade pub on the seafront in the early hours.

The fire was extinguished by 5.30am but crews had to be called back in after it reignited.

On arrival firefighters reported that smoke was coming from the first floor of the building and worked to extinguish the fire by 5.30am.

Crews were then called back to the location at 7.10am and confirmed that the fire had reignited.

"At 7.45am firefighters reported that the floor inside the building was unstable so it was necessary to withdraw firefighters from the building and continue tackling the fire from the outside." >

Essex Fire Service

Two crews from Southend, one from Leigh, one from Rayleigh Weir, one from Shoeburyness, one from Rochford and an aerial ladder platform from Grays were all called to the scene.

Police shut off the road for several hours and warned residents to keep their windows and doors closed for the smoke to clear.

Residents took to social media to express their shock, saying that smoke could be seen for miles.