FIREFIGHTERS have been battling through the night to control a major incident which has destroyed two thatched cottages and damaged others in a terrace of houses in West Somerset.

Every available fire appliance from stations across a large area of Somerset and Devon were called to tackle the blaze, which broke out just before 7 pm on Monday (May 1).

More than 20 fire crews were on the scene in Porlock Weir at one time as they stripped thatch from the houses in Worthy Toll Road to try to contain the blaze.

Villagers were warned to keep windows and doors shut due to ‘large amounts of smoke’.

Porlock firefighters were first on the scene and reported the fire was in a row of terraced properties, two of which were thatched and well alight.

Fire personnel from across West Somerset and North Devon were mobilised to support them, with engines sent from Dulverton, Minehead, Williton, Wiveliscombe, Nether Stowey, Barnstaple, Ilfracombe, Appledore, Combe Martin, Lynton, Woolacombe, Street, Burnham-on-Sea, and other stations.

An hour-and-a-half into the incident there was a call for even more crews to be sent to the scene after the initial batch of vehicles arrived.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue said ‘good progress’ was made overnight using two hose reel jets, one main jet, and a street hydrant, but the incident was ongoing.

How the terrace of houses in Porlock Weir looked before the fire.
How the terrace of houses in Porlock Weir looked before the fire. (Google Maps)

Crews made steady progress using breathing apparatus, ladders, safe working at height and confined space in use, and a thermal imaging camera.

Some of the fire crews provided relief for colleagues exhausted from their efforts.

Updates to follow.