Residents of flats devastated by fire claim they have been left living in ‘unacceptable’ conditions.

They also claimed fire alarms did not sound.

An apartment block in Wood Road, Heybridge, was evacuated last Sunday and 20 people left homeless.

Landlord Moat has since told some they can return.

Melanie Ellis, 38, lives directly below the flat the fire started in and has had to throw away clothing, books and linen damaged by soot and water.

The telemarketer said: “The water damage to our flat was inevitable, but as for the other residents, Moat should be putting their health and safety first.

“There are small children living in that block, they will possibly breath harmful air every day while nothing is being done.

“It sickens me to think that Moat are happy for them to reside among soot covered walls and damp spores.”

Full story in this week's Standard