Fire officers have launched an investigation into the cause of a fire at two terraced homes. 

Up to 30 firefigthers were called to Brunel Road, Woodford Green, on the border of Chigwell, yesterday afternoon following reports of an entire home engulfed in flames.  

Five fire engines from Waltham Abbey, Hainault, Woodford and two from Loughton were called to the address at 4:15pm. 

An ambulance crew arrived at the scene at 4:20pm and treated a man in his 70s for smoke inhalation. He was then taken to Whipps Cross Hospital as a precaution.

Crews wearing breathing apparatus used two main jets and one hose reel to tackle one of the home set alight completely and the neighbouring property.

A gas leak inside the house was said to be hampering the crews efforts to tackle the fire and after one hour of arriving on the scene, the gas leak had been isolated at the street valve to prevent the it from fuelling the fire.

Two hours into tackling the blaze, the fire had been surrounded as firefighters removed roof tiles to access the fire by hose.

The fire was eventually entinguished at 7pm but firefighters remained on site for up to an hour.  

At the height of the blaze, a man was seen re-entering one of the terraced homes to save his dog, according to a neighbour who witnessed the distressed man calling for help.

There are no reports of any further injuries.

Fire officers from Essex County and Fire Rescue Service are to return to Brunel Road today.