A MAN has suffered severe burns after an oil tank exploded in front of him.

The homeowner burned his hands after cutting up a steel oil tank, which he believed to be empty at 10.13am this morning.

The angle grinder he was using created a spark which lit a small amount of oil in the bottom of the tank which exploded into flames catching the man's clothes on fire.

Halstead and Sible Hedingham Fire Services attended the scene on School Road in Little Maplestead.

Watch Manager Steve Byrne, Halstead Fire Station, said: "Thankfully the man was able to quickly remove his overalls and therefore stop the fire catching to his body, although his hands and arms have suffered severe burns.

"As well as extinguishing the fire within the oil tanker with foam and dry powder we were able to give the casualty first aid and care for him until the Ambulance Service arrived.

"Our advice would be to always ensure that oil tanks are fully drained before cutting them up but, but to be extra safe use a specialist oil tank replacement company to recycle your old tank."

Firefighters extinguished the blaze by 11am this morning.

The back of the house has also suffered from some heat damage.