Fire brigades rushed to the scene in an attempt to stem the raging inferno on an industrial estate near Botany Way.
Witnesses claimed ash was raining down on the nearby town as four fire engines attempted to tackle the blaze along with specialist equipment, including a foam lorry, Hose Layer and Water Bowser.
Essex police set up a cordon around the incident, while train services which would have passed by the blaze have been put on hold.
Essex police have set up a cordon around the incident
A police spokesperson described the burning fuel tankers as a “major incident”.
Video footage of the scene showed flames billowing from the industrial site, as black smoke plumed above.
Nearby residents heard the blasts from their houses as the tankers ignited.
But after battling the blaze for more than three hours, the fire was extinguished.
Ash is believed to be raining down on the nearby town
Essex Fire and Rescue service confirmed no one had been injured in the incident.
A spokesperson told Express.co.uk there will be a “thorough investigation” in an attempt to understand the cause of the incident.
Meanwhile the service’s official Twitter added: “Firefighters will now make sure all remaining hot spots are fully extinguished.”
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
An Essex Police spokesman said: "Police are at the scene of a major incident involving a fire at a site in the Botany Way area of Purfleet.
The fire was extinguished after three hours
"Our officers are assisting Essex Fire and Rescue Service at the scene."
It comes two weeks after a gas explosion in the Wirral, Merseyside, injured 34 people, including two seriously, and completely destroyed a dance studio.
The “significant building” in the town of New Ferry, Merseyside, was destroyed and tremors were felt as far away as North Wales.
Two seriously injured victims were rushed to Aintree hospital in Liverpool while the other 30, described as “walking wounded” were treated at Arrowe Park Hospital in Merseyside and the Countess of Chester.