Huge fire at Sidmouth derelict building was started deliberately

The derelict council buildings were gutted in the blaze Credit: ITV News

A large fire which broke out at derelict council buildings in Sidmouth was started deliberately according to Devon and Cornwall Police.

Officers are investigating the suspected arson at the former East Devon District Council's headquarters.

The fire service was first called about a fire at Knowle House, Knowle Drive, Sidmouth, at around 4.10am on Thursday 30 March.

The fire is thought to have first started at around 2.30am.

It took firefighter more than 12 hours to tackle the blaze Credit: ITV News

The building was severely damaged with crews tackling the blaze for more than 12 hours.

Police say they had a previous report of a small fire at the same location on Sunday 26 March, which was extinguished by the fire service.

On Sunday 26 March, one witness reported seeing a man at the scene, who was described as a white male in his early 20s, of medium build with dark hair and wearing camouflage trousers.

Officers are investigating both incidents, which they believe may be linked and are appealing for anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area to contact them.

If you witnessed the incident or have any information or dashcam footage that could help with enquiries, please contact police via their website here or by calling 101 quoting 50230073429.