The owner of an 18th century pub has spoken of the 'traumatic' arson that left him without a home.

Shortly before 4.20am on Thursday fire crews and police were called to the Two Brewers pub in Greensted Road, Ongar.

The two crews were confronted with a ground floor of the building heavily smoke logged.

The fire fighters entered the pub and bundled out its one occupant, owner Graham Hemming, out onto the street.

He was rushed to Harlow Hospital where he was treated for smoke inhalation.

While his physical injuries do not seem to be long lasting, the emotional and financial impact on the 57-year-old publican look likely to linger.

He said: "I was woken around 4.15am to the sound of one breaking in. A silver car was seen driving away

“I was the only person in the building that night.

"It’s been very traumatic.

“I have lost my home of 23 years with all my possessions inside.”

Since returning to inspect the pub - which is an old oak beam building dating back to 1791 - he has been encountered with "extensive damage" to the Grade II listed building, including heavily burnt furniture, smashed glass strewn across the floor and a TV hanging off the wall.

Despite the serious nature of the attack, Mr Hemming said there are no suspects in his mind.

Since the fire he has been staying in a hotel in Hatfield.

Mr Hemming added: “The local community have been support has been fantastic.”

“It’s such a same as it’s a lovely community pub. It’s completely out of character for Ongar to experience something like this.”

The landlord hopes to reopen the pub in the near future, but for now will remain shut while the investigation continues.

In the aftermath of the blaze dozens of pub goers took to social media to express their sadness.

Khloé Lightholder wrote: "Terrible. I used to love the times my family took me here.

"Glad no one was hurt, such a shame because it’s an adorable quirky little pub. I hope it’ll rise again."

Carol Walker added: "That’s terrible news. I have lots of good memories drinking there when I lived in Ongar.

"So sad that someone could do that."

No arrests have been made.