Black Friday
Emergency services were called to the incident at 10.45pm but could not save the pair. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

A woman and child have been killed by a house fire in Braintree, Essex.

Emergency services were called shortly before 10.45pm on Wednesday (21 December) but the pair could not be saved and died at the scene, according to local police.

Two other people did escape from the building before and were taken to hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation.

Braintree District Council's chairman, Frankie Ricci, wrote on Twitter: "My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those caught in the South Street house fire in Braintree. Tragic beyond words."

MP James Cleverly added on Twitter: "Shocked by the terrible news that a mother and child have died in a fire in Braintree, my thoughts are with their friends and family."

The full police statement reported by the BBC said: "Police are working with the fire service to investigate the cause of a fire in which a woman and child have died."

"Emergency services were called shortly before 10.45pm yesterday, Wednesday December 21 with reports of a fire at a house in South Street, Braintree.Officers, a police helicopter, the fire service and ambulance service attended.

"Two women had managed to get out of the property before emergency services arrived. They were taken to hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation.Sadly a woman and a child were trapped inside and died at the scene."