A family was rescued from a tower block home after a fire started on the outside of the building.

The crews were called to Civic Square, Tilbury at 1.18am after receiving multiple calls to say there was a fire in a communal hallway.

One of the calls received was from a mother who was trapped inside her flat by the fire. Control officers stayed on the phone with the resident to keep her calm and give her advice until crews arrived.

Watch Manager Dave Bond, Orsett Fire Station, said: "When we arrived our crews quickly established contact with the trapped resident to ensure she knew we were there to help her.

"We soon found that she had a safe space within her flat where she could continue to breathe fresh air, so asked her to stay there while we tackled the fire and cleared the smoke.

"Once it was safe to do so we led the resident and her children out of her flat and down the stairs to safety.

"The hard work and joint response of our control office, fire crews and our colleagues from Essex Police and East of England Ambulance Service was paramount during this incident and meant that everyone was kept informed and safe in a time of need."

The woman and her children were left in the care of the Ambulance Service at 2.21am.

An investigation into the cause of the fire will take place later today.