FIREFIGHTERS battled a huge blaze throughout the night after a derelict building in Jaywick became completely engulfed in flames.

Four crews from Clacton, Weeley and Colchester all rushed to the fire, which had broken out within the former Mermaid Inn pub, just before 3am on Wednesday morning.

Once they arrived at the scene, they found the building was completely alight and worked for three hours to put out the fire.

After working to put out the roaring fire for around three hours, the brave firefighters eventually reported at 6am that the dangerous fireball had been extinguished.

Fire crews remained at the scene until 9am to dampen down any hot spots and to make the area safe as possible, ensuring any risks had been contained.

A spokesman for Essex Fire & Rescue said: “Firefighters were called to a fire in a derelict building in Jaywick.

“When fire crews arrived they reported that the two storey build was completely alight.

“At 6am firefighters reported that the fire had been extinguished.”

The neglected watering hole has been abandoned and was previously hit by an arson attack in 2006.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but a resident who was driving past the incident as emergency services worked to establish the most efficient cause of action, believes it could be a result of foul play.

A resident said: “In my personal opinion, this fire didn’t start on its own because it would have happened years ago if that was the case.

“I really don’t know what sort of idiots would want to do this when people with children live next to it.”

The neglected watering hole has been left to gradually deteriorate for the past ten years after a previous fire rendered it beyond repair and debilitated.

Residents have called on Tendring Council to demolish the building, which is positioned opposite the village’s community resource centre, to prevent further trouble.

As a result of the fire, Tendring Council and the emergency services have launched an investigation and will secure the site for public safety.