FIREFIGHTERS from across West Somerset have been helping through the night into this morning (May 22) to battle a huge fire in a house in Taunton.

The major incident in Kingston Road saw a thatch roof property destroyed after it caught alight during the early hours.

One person was in the house at the time but Avon and Somerset Police said they were now safe.

Fire crews were called from Williton, Nether Stowey, and Wiveliscombe to support the firefighting operation.

For some of the crews it was the second major thatch roof blaze they had battled this month after two thatched houses in Porlock Weir were destroyed in a major incident at the beginning of May.

Fire rages in a thatched property in Taunton overnight.

A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue (DSFR) spokesman said the cause of the fire would be ‘determined in due course’.

Neighbours were urged to keep their doors and windows closed because of the amount of smoke in the area but nobody else was evacuated.

Kingston Road was closed near its junction with Turner Road and police said it was likely to remain shut for most of today.

The fire service was alerted to the blaze some time after midnight and police were called at about 2 am.

Shortly before 7.30 am the DSFR spokesman said: “Throughout the night crews have continued to fight the fire.

This thatched house in Porlock Weir has been left uninhabitable after a major blaze.
This thatched house in Porlock Weir has been left uninhabitable after a major blaze. (George Ody)

“The incident is now scaling back to a three-pump relief crew, along with an aerial ladder platform.”

At the peak of the incident, there were appliances attending from 16 different fire stations across Somerset and Devon, from as far away as Crediton and Yeovil.

A water bowser, an aerial ladder platform, and other supporting appliances were called in as crews used breathing apparatus, compressed air foam, and hose reel jets to tackle the flames.

Police were awaiting Somerset Council highways staff to put road closure signage in place on what is one of the major routes into Taunton from the Quantock Hills.