A 29-year-old man has been charged with arson after fire raged through a block of flats last Sunday.

Daniel Hilton, of Wood Road, appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates court on Tuesday morning.

He was also charged with criminal damage and assault.

The local community have rallied to try and gather clothing, toys and necessities for those affected by the fire.

Kev Jennings has said the Salvation Army will provide aid for the victims.

He said: "If anyone in the flats affected by fire in Heybridge need clothing or cookware items, please call into the Salvation Army trading company shop, we can help for free.

"At the Salvation Army we can issue clothing or cookware items to the families affected free of charge, linen as well.

"The families affected need to pop into the shop and I’ll sort them with anything that helps to get them back on their feet."

The Salvation Army is based at 70c  High Street, Maldon, CM9 5ET, open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.

Full story in tomorrow's Standard.