FIREFIGHTERS were called to a fire in a restaurant in Hutton Road, Shenfield.
The incident took place yesterday at 6.30am.
When crews arrived they reported that the fire was on the ground floor of a three storey building. Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus entered the property and managed to extinguish the fire by 7:30am.
Crews remained the scene until 9.13am to extinguish all remaining hot spots.
The fire investigation has now taken place and determined that the cause of the fire was accidental and started in the cooker hood and ducting.
The fire spread throughout the ventilation system, and had been smouldering for around eight hours.
It was discovered after an employee from the offices above saw smoke when arriving at work.
The fire has left the ground floor restaurant badly damaged, and the first and second floor of the building, which are used as offices has suffered some smoke damage.
Essex Fire and Rescue Service’s Technical Fire Safety team, who support in creating building designs, fire evacuation strategies, building regulations and auditing and inspections, will work with the business owner to ensure they are supported and informed when rebuilding a safe restaurant.