THE fire that severely damaged Taunton Town Football Club last night is not thought to be suspicious, say police.

The fire service was called at 12.30am and at the peak of the blaze has 10 fire engines at the scene, including crews from next-door Taunton, Bridgwater, Wiveliscombe, Tiverton, Burnham and Wellington.

The fire has damaged the members bar area and has left a gaping hole in the roof.

Among those called to the scene at about 1am was club chairman and chief executive Kevin Sturmey.

He said the clubhouse was in the middle of being renovated. "So many people have worked so hard so this is upsetting for everyone involved.

"But when this kind of thing happens the important thing is that no one was in there and there are no injuries.

"When I got here flames were coming through the roof."

With asbestos in the roof of the structure, firefighters considered evacuating the 27 residents of the nearby Hamilton Court nursing home but decided against it after taking advice from paramedics, police and nursing home staff.

Fire group manager Garry Alford said: "There was a minor risk from the plume.

"The cause is under investigation. "There is significant damage to 30% of the structure and water and smoke damage to up to 80% of the building."

Volunteers from the British Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support Service from Bridgwater were standing by to assist with the evacuation of nearby homes.

This afternoon a police spokesman said investigators were not treating the incident as suspicious.

A spokesman for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: "Early indications are that the cause was accidental but investigations are continuing."

First reported: 3.52am. For updates, keep reading this website.

If you have photos of the scene, email them to or text them to 80360 starting your message with the keywords COUNTY GAZETTE – texts are charged at your normal rate.

For an eyewitness' account of the blaze, and for more photographs, see the County Gazette on Thursday.