Investigation launched into devastating Porlock fire

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  • Three-storey home fire started at 8am.
  • Main road through Porlock closed for around eight hours.
  • Man taken to hospital with burn injuries.
  • Appeal launched to help affected families.
  • Investigation into cause of blaze under way.

4:37pm

THE A39 High Street in Porlock has now re-opened and traffic is returning to normal.

4:22pm

THESE photos by David Orr show the aftermath of the devastating fire.

Somerset County Gazette:

Somerset County Gazette:

Somerset County Gazette:

3:43pm

THE cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

A fire service spokesman said: "Crews have continued to make steady progress thoughtout the day.

"Both the Environment Agency and the council's building control are aware of the incident.

"The dwelling suffered 80% damage by fire and remaining 20% damaged by smoke, heat and water. 

"The adjoining property suffered 30% damage by fire and 70% damage by heat, smoke and water."

3:03pm

POLICE say the A39 High Street is still closed both ways.

2:42pm

AN appeal has been launched to help the families that suffered in the fire.

Several neighbours are rallying to get items of clothing, toiletries and toys to donate.

2:28pm

A SPOKESMAN for the fire service said the incident has been sectorised with a safety officer in place.

It is thought that the adjoining home which the fire spread to has also been severely damaged.

1:34pm

SEVERAL callers are reporting slow moving traffic on the surrounding roads, according to the police.

12:58pm

THE A39 High Street is still closed and motorists have reported slow traffic on the surrounding roads.

People are being diverted via the B3224 across Exmoor.

12:27pm

12:26pm

11:56am

Somerset County Gazette:

Somerset County Gazette:

Somerset County Gazette:

THESE photos were sent in by David Hawtin.

11:43am

DAVID Hawtin, from Melody Art Gallery, said: "It was around 8am and I was going to our gallery in High Street and as I got closer I could see the smoke and flames.

"I called the fire brigade but they already knew about it, so it must have started a little before that."

David, who is having to operate from his studio today as a result of the fire, added: "The roof has collapsed and there are only a few rafters remaining. Firefighters are currently up there and it is still smoking."

11:31am

A MAN has been taken to hospital suffering from burn injuries to both hands.

South Western Ambulance Service said he is thought to be the only casualty at this stage and was taken to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.

11:22am

11:19am

THE fire had spread to the adjoining property shortly before 9am.

11:17am

11:15am

EYE-witness Steve Parsons said the roof of the building has collapsed.

He added: "The flames were around 15 to 20 feet high and you could hear the crackling from where I live.

"Firefighters were tackling it from three sides but it appears that the flames and smoke have died down."

11:07am

MOTORISTS are being advised that a diversion is in place via the B3224 across Exmoor.

11:04am

FIRE crews earlier requested a fifth fire appliance.

11:04am

AMBULANCE and police are also at the scene.

Avon and Somerset Police say the A39 High Street is closed both ways for emergency services access due to the building fire between the B3225 and Old Lane.

A spokesman said: “It is likely to be closed for some time.”

11:02am

INITIALLY three appliances were mobilised from Porlock. Minehead and Lynton.

Crews immediately requested an additional appliance as the fire could be seen from some distance.

On arrival, crews confirmed a three-storey home well alight and requested a fifth appliance from Combe Martin.

11:00am

SEVERAL firefighters are tackling a fire in a domestic property in Sparkhayes Lane, Porlock.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service received numerous called shortly after 8am this morning (May 30).

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