Fifteen fire crews were needed to tackle fires in two barns near Ivybridge in a marathon mission that started in the early hours on Monday night (September 27).

At 2.25am the fire service was alerted to reports of a large barn fire in Ermington.

In fact two barns holding hay and barley were on fire - and the fire was threatening the farmhouse.

At its height, eight fire engines were on site with firefighters working to bring the fire under control and stop any further spread.

Using main jets, compressed air foam, breathing apparatus and a light portable pump they worked on the flames.

South West Farmer: The barn fire at Ermington. Picture: Plympton Fire StationThe barn fire at Ermington. Picture: Plympton Fire Station

The fire service reported at 2.09am on Tuesday morning that the contents of the barns were being left to burn.

Relief crews stayed on site to monitor the site and fresh crews returned to check the barns.

Plympton Fire Service's fire engine stayed for seven hours and its water bowser for 11 hours.

Meanwhile, Crownhill Fire Station had an unusually busy night as there was a large thatched property on fire in Stokenham.

A spokesperson said: "Two members of the watch were mobilised in the aerial appliance to Stokenham in the South Hams to assist with a large thatch fire in which unfortunately a pub and a few homes destroyed by the blaze.

"This incident saw a total of 12 appliances and special appliances from all over the service attend in order to help.

"Whilst there, the remaining members of the watch along with our on-call colleagues were mobilised to a barn fire in Yealmpton.

"This incident involved eight appliances and special appliances and crews worked quickly and successfully in order to prevent the fire spreading to the farmhouse."

On Twitter, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service proudly wrote: "Wow, what a night shift Blue watch had in Fire Control - a 12 pump thatch roof fire and an eight pump barn fire - superb job done dealing with these incidents and juggling resources to keep fire cover for the rest of the counties."

In all, crews from fifteen stations were needed to tackle the barn fire: Chulmleigh, Holsworthy, Buckfastleigh, Kingsbridge, Moretonhampstead, Totnes, Clyst St George, Plympton, Camels Head, Crownhill, Greenbank, Plymstock, Bere Alston, Yelverton and Wiveliscombe.