Page last updated at 21:59 GMT, Monday, 11 January 2010

Parish church is damaged in fire

Sheering parish church
Fire at Sheering parish church - picture by Essex Fire and Rescue

A 12th Century parish church in an Essex village has been damaged by a fire that spread to the roof.

Some church materials and artefacts from St Mary's church in Sheering were rescued by crews, a fire officer said.

Six fire engines from Essex and Hertfordshire were called when smoke was seen coming out of the roof.

The officer in charge also said flames were seen inside the church building. Crews took less than an hour to bring the fire under control.

They remained at the incident until late in to the evening checking for hotspots using a thermal image camera.

Divisional Officer John Moss said: "The fire had entered into the roof and the fire crews quickly had the fire surrounded.

"Crews remain at the incident this evening checking for any remaining hotspots and they have also managed to salvage some of the church's belongings such as artifacts and paperwork."

The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage and an investigation will be carried out.

Priceless aretfacts were saved from the fire at St Mary's Church in Seething

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