TWO families were left homeless last night after a garden fire spread and ripped through houses. 

Fire crews from across south Essex were called out to the incident around 3pm yesterday after receiving numerous emergency calls about thick smoke. 

A garden fire is understood to have got out of control and spread to a conservatory of a home in Daiglen Drive, South Ockendon. 

Thurrock Gazette:

Firefighters arrived to find flames had also spread to the loft area, as well as the neighbouring property.

A fire service spokesman said: "Firefighters from Grays worked quickly to extinguish the fire by 5:20pm.

Thurrock Gazette:

"Fortunately, nobody was harmed but two families have sadly been left homeless as a result of the fire.

"We would like to thank residents of South Ockendon for being patient with us while our crews tackled the fire."

Thurrock Gazette:

Residents in the area were urged to close their windows as a result of the smoke coming from the fire. 

The fire serice also said drivers should expect delays due to the incident.