'Devastating' fire rips through small businesses near Totnes

A number of vehicle workshops caught fire at an industrial estate in Broadhempston Credit: Gerald Taylor

A fire has badly damaged a number of small businesses at an industrial estate near Totnes, Devon.

Fire crews were called to Broadhempston at around 6:30pm yesterday evening (23 January) where a number of vehicle workshops were alight.

Pictures of firefighters at the scene were taken by Gerald Taylor, Devon & Somerset's assistant chief fire officer.

He described the fire as "devastating" and says crews are working hard to tackle the flames.

He said: "I hope these small companies can recover as soon as possible."

Fire crews battle to put out the flames Credit: Gerald Taylor

Buckfastleigh Fire Station said that they were able to take part in a training exercise at the South Devon Railway and just as the team arrived, they were diverted to a large building fire in Broadhempston.

In a post online, a spokesperson for the fire station said: "We attended with fire appliances from Ivybridge Fire Station, Totnes Fire Station, Paignton Fire Station and Torquay Fire Station, also utilising the water bowser and the aerial ladder platform from Torquay.

"On arrival we were faced with a well developed fire and the lack of a designated fire hydrant made for a challenging initial response.

Gas cylinders were found onsite Credit: Gerald Taylor

"The National Grid attended to confirm power was isolated to the buildings which were used as vehicle repair units.

"The occupiers were on hand to provide information to the oic to enable him to assess and deal with the hazards posed within.

"We hope that these small businesses are able to recover quickly from this event and thank them for their help throughout the incident."

Firefighters are still at the scene this morning tackling the blaze.

No injuries have been reported.