Residents react to beloved pub brought down in flames

The Ring of Bells in North Bovey caught fire yesterday afternoon. Credit: ITV West Country

Ten fire crews from across the West Country were called to tackle a blaze at a popular 13th century thatched pub in Devon yesterday (13 January) and are still on the scene.

The Ring of Bells Inn in North Bovey caught fire yesterday afternoon and required nearly 60 firefighters to bring the blaze under control.

But the local community on Dartmoor are only just coming to terms with the devastating fire at its historic village pub - which attracts thousands of tourists every year.

Fire crews are expecting to be at the Ring of Bells for some time to come as pockets of the heavy thatch that's fallen through the roof continue to smoulder.

Early signs indicate the fire started by a spark or flame from the chimney flue in the loft space igniting the underside of the thatched roof.

It's impossible for the crews to get into the building to remove it all, so have to remain on hand outside the property. Credit: ITV West Country

Fire crews used foam as well as water to try to create a barrier for the flames, but the thatch, held much of the moisture out while the fire burned underneath.

The roof now almost completely missing from the 13th Century building. Credit: ITV West Country

Today as the owners of the pub spoke to loss adjusters and insurers - the village of North Bovey rallied around.

Local resident Ray Aldridge says people in the village all share devastation at the loss of this historic pub.

Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service is issuing advice to the owners of thatched properties in the area following the destruction.

The pub in a remote corner of Dartmoor is known far and wide. The hope is that the heart of the village will start beating again soon.