40 firefighters tackle Devon blaze, while residents hear explosions

Fire Umberleigh - 160422 Devon & Somerset Fire
Credit: Devon & Somerset Fire Service

Fire crews from all over North Devon have rushed to the scene of an out-of-control caravan blaze in Fishleigh Barton near Umberleigh overnight (15 April).

The fire started in a caravan on a farm and quickly spread to a barn that contained potentially hazardous materials.

The A377 was closed for several hours.

A spokesperson for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service confirmed the fire is now out and is being treated as accidental.

The spokesperson confirmed there have been no injuries or casualties.

An environmental protection unit was also called out to the scene.

Last night, eye-witness Karen Pixie Herrington captured the moment the fire suddenly erupted into a pillar-shaped cloud.

A spokesperson for Devon and Somerset Fire Service said: "Fire control received a call from a member of the public regarding a large fire at a farm in Umberleigh.

"The initial response included two fire engines from Barnstaple, one fire engine from South Molton and an officer. Based on further information gathered from the caller, fire control then escalated the incident and mobilised a water carrier from Barnstaple and a further two officers.

"When crews arrived at the incident, they confirmed there was a fully developed large barn fire containing multiple caravans, machinery and cylinders and requested a further two fire engines (Braunton and Torrington) and an aerial platform ladder (Danes Castle – Exeter) for access and resources. The A377 was also closed due to the proximity to the incident.

"They then requested an environmental protection unit (South Molton) and a further water carrier (Danes Castle – Exeter).

"The incident command unit from Ilfracombe was also in attendance, and later a unit from Martock.

"Crews have confirmed that the barn containing multiple caravans, machinery and cylinders (containing argon, butane, propane) has been 100% damaged by fire but all persons on scene are accounted for.

"The electrics have been isolated and crews are making steady progress. The cause of the fire is thought to have been accidental."