Firefighters tackled a fence fire at a homeless encampment this morning.

A crew were called shortly after 9am to land off Rickmansworth Road in the town centre - just three days after firefighters were called to a blaze at the same location.

Watford Observer:

Emergency services in Rickmansworth Road this morning

When they arrived, black smoke was billowing into the air and a fence was found ablaze.

The area is currently home to a number of people who have been there for a while.

Watford Observer:

Watford Observer:

Rubbish, trolleys, clothing, chairs and all kinds of waste, was strewn across the ground, while other parts of the ground were burnt out following the second fire in a matter of days.

Books had also caught fire.

Watford Observer:

Watford Observer:

No one living at the camp was present when firefighters arrived. A firefighter at the scene did not know whether it was arson or accidental.

Neighbours have raised concerns about the state of the encampment and spoke about the risk of the fire spreading to trees or buildings.

They did not want to be named but they told the Observer: "The whole thing is a tragedy however this is an environmental health issue. There's also issues about noise.

"The fire brigade have been brilliant but we are concerned about fires spreading."

Watford Borough Council says it had begun eviction proceedings at the site before the fire and said it will be offering support to those living at the camp.

Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: "We want to prevent this happening again and will be working with the police to monitor the location to stop illegal encampments springing up in future.

"No one should have to sleep rough in our town and we have offered specialist support to those in the camp from our local homelessness provider New Hope.

"It is right that we are providing more help and support for people experiencing homelessness than ever before.

"It is in nobody’s interests to allow unsafe encampments to become a permanent feature in our town and I will do all I can to prevent this.”