ARSONISTS have been blamed for a fire that ripped through a barn near Langport this morning.

Several fire crews from South Somerset were called to the seven-bay Dutch barn at Long Sutton from about 1am.

Firefighters began tackling the blaze with hoses while farm machinery was removed from the barn. They also concentrated on stopping the fire from spreading to two other nearby barns.

At 7.45am this morning a spokesman said: “The incident has scaled down to one fire appliance. Crews are carrying out a watching brief and allowing the main stack to burn out naturally.”

The spokesman later added: "This incident has now been closed. The cause of this fire is thought to be deliberate.

"Crews put out the fire using two main jets and one hose reel jet. The barn and its contents were severely damaged by fire."