Maldon firefighters attended more crashes on the road than fires in 2012.

Throughout the year retained firefighters based in the town were called out to 265 incidents - a third of which were outside the district.

The 20-strong team attended two devastating fires which left families homeless as well as others in barns, businesses and restaurants.

In February, a blaze ripped through a bungalow in East End Road, Bradwell, where Judith Robinson, her husband Matt and their two children lived.

Nothing was recovered but generous villagers donated thousands of pounds worth of furniture to the family, who since moved to another house in the same street.

Mark Anstey, 57, wife Sara and son Richard fled their home in Limbourne Drive, Heybridge, when a fire engulfed the roof and caused the first-floor ceiling to cave in in September.

But station officer Martin Cable and his team based at the Maldon fire station in Wycke Hill are more used to dealing with accidents on the district’s roads than tackling blazes.

See this week's MBS for the full story.