A horse owner has been left devastated after six family animals were killed in a barn fire.

Emergency services rushed to the fire at Stanford Stables, off Stanford Road, Stanford-le-Hope between 7pm and 7.30pm on Sunday March 22.

The fire caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage to the barn and two vehicles and six horses died.

Samantha Price, the owner of the horses, said: “I am devastated, they were family horses that we’ve had for many years.

“I was contacted by people living close to the barn and when I arrived, I just broke down in tears.

“The community has really supported me with kind words and gestures. I urge anyone with information to please contact police.”

Police have launched an appeal for information after the fire.

The cause of the fire continues to remain unknown and we are looking to hear from anyone who may have seen suspicious behaviour at the address or nearby.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We would also like to hear from anyone who dash cam at around the time of the incident.

“Please call Grays CID on 101 quoting crime reference 42/47557/20 or report information by visiting www.essex.police.uk.

“Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”