A ROOF fire inside a building in Colchester High Street needed to be tackled by four fire crews.

Three crews from Colchester, and one from Wivenhoe, were called to the high street at about 5.10pm yesterday.

Essex Fire Service said the incident commander ordered four vehicles, as well as the aerial ladder platform to assist firefighters in tackling the blaze.

Residents had spotted plumes of smoke in the area coming from the roof of the affected premises, located near North Hill.

Twitter user @_DjTC_ said: “Could not get much closer as smoke was quite powerful. Smelled like a bonfire.”

Essex Police closed the high street while crews worked at the scene.

A spokesman said: “High Street temporarily closed whilst fire service deal with a small fire on a rooftop. “No injuries and minimal N damage.”

A spokesman for the fire service said: "At 6.40pm the Incident Commander confirmed the aerial ladder platform was no longer needed and the fire had been extinguished.

"Crews will continue to dampen and cool down the roof void and make the area safe."

Update 7.40pm: 

At 7.20pm Crews reported were cutting away smouldering exposed beams as well as clearing the whole building of smoke.

Firefighters expect to be on site for some time to ensure the fire is completely out.

The high street has reopened to traffic.

Update 9.40pm: 

The fire has been extinguished but a revisit is planned for later in the evening. 

The fire is believed to have been caused accidently by contractors who were carrying out work to the premises.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Picture: Dr G's Sneaker LaundryPicture: Dr G's Sneaker Laundry

More to follow.