Firefighters who are tackling a blaze at a large industrial unit are expected to be there "well into the evening".

The fire service was called to Perry Road, Harlow at around 12.33 am this morning (November 11) to reports of a large fire at an industrial unit.

The two-storey unit which stretches around 60 metres by 40 metres, was completely alight according to fire crews.

While Essex County Fire & Rescue Service reported that the fire was under control by 6am, crews have been working since this morning with local authorities and police to "establish a strategy" for the next 24 hours.

Epping Forest Guardian:

Credit: Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

Seven new crews took over the incident at 4pm and the building has been badly damaged. The service said there are significant hotspots within the structure that firefighters are tackling.

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Dan Kirk, who is now leading the incident, said: "Crews are doing an excellent job given the scale of this fire, but we expect to be here well into this evening before the scene can be made safe.

"While firefighting continues I'm afraid that there will continue to be some smoke, but we have now safely reduced the cordon to just include the industrial estate."

Epping Forest Guardian: Epping Forest Guardian:

Credit: Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

As a result of the fire today, Steward Academy at Parnall Rd was closed and students were required to work from home.

Mr Kirk added: "We are working with the Environment Agency to regularly test the quality of air.Your safety is what matters most - so if you live nearby, please continue to stay indoors and keep your windows and doors closed.

"I’d like to thank local residents for their patience. We are doing everything we can to make the area safe as soon as possible."