A man escaped a house fire through a downstairs window after a suspected arson attack.
Firefighters were called to Bronte Road, Witham, at 12.20am this morning to tackle a blaze at a terraced house.
Crews arriving at the scene reported 60 per cent of the ground floor was well alight.
After escaping, the man was able to tell crews no-one else was inside.
The fire was put out within half an hour, before crews used a high pressure fan to clear smoke from the building.
Investigators are currently at the scene of the fire.
An Essex County Fire and Rescue spokesman said: "A joint police and fire service investigation will be carried out to establish the cause."
An Essex Police spokesman said: "Police were called by the fire service at shortly before 1am on Sunday following a fire in a property at Bronte Road.
"The fire is being is being treated as arson and a joint police and fire investigation is under way to establish the cause.
"The occupant of the property was unharmed.
"Anyone with information should contact detectives at Braintree CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."