Police seek two boys over Stanford-le Hope arson attack


Two boys seen playing near the scene of an arson attack in Essex in which a man was rescued are being sought by police.

Fire crews went to a derelict property on fire in Southend Road, Stanford-le-Hope on Tuesday night and found a homeless man lying unconscious.

The man was treated by paramedics who took him to Basildon University Hospital.

Police said they want to talk to two teenagers seen outside the property at about 2045 BST.

Victim 'lucky'

Det Con Paul O'Callaghan said: "At this stage, we're not sure how the fire started.

"Several witnesses recall seeing two young, white teenage boys playing about outside the property.

"They may be able to help us establish what happened."

Station Officer Geoff Wheal from Essex Fire and Rescue Service said: "It was a derelict workshop so we were not expecting anyone to be in there.

"This man is lucky crews did such a thorough search or he would not have survived this ordeal."

A fire service investigation has found the blaze was started deliberately.

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