INVESTIGATORS say a “devastating” blaze which tore through five beach huts could have been started deliberately.

A private beach, off Stone Lane, Wrabness, remains closed after the fire, which took hold at around 10pm on Sunday.

The land upon which the huts sit is owned by Balhaven Ltd, which urged people to stay away while hazardous materials are cleared.

The firm said it is “beyond devastated.”

An Essex Fire Service spokesman revealed crews worked for hours to extinguish the flames.

“Crews reported five beach huts were alight and worked to extinguish the fire by 1.35am,” she said.

“An investigation into the cause found that it was accidental or deliberate, both possibilities.”