Pictures show scale of huge fire in Sidmouth which burned for 12 hours

  • Watch fire burn at derelict building in Sidmouth

Dramatic pictures show the damage caused by a fire which has destroyed an old council building in Sidmouth.

Residents were warned to keep their doors and windows closed for much of the day as fire crews laid out a mile-long pipe to pump water out of the sea to get the flames under control.

Since becoming derelict, the site has become an important colony for a rare species of bat and there are now fears the animals have been wiped out.

Firefighters were first called shortly after 4am and have been at the scene all day, battling against pockets of flames which keep reappearing.

The building was a hotel until the 1960s when it then became the headquarters of East Devon District Council.

The council left the building a few years ago and it has since been earmarked for redevelopment.

Eight fire engines were sent to the scene alongside other appliances including aerial ladders and water bowsers. Credit: ITV
The roof of the building has completely collapsed. Credit: ITV
Crews tackled the blaze for more than 12 hours Credit: ITV
The building is now just an empty shell Credit: ITV
Crews have been at the scene since just after 4am. Credit: ITV
The building was home to a colony of rare bats Credit: ITV