Eleven fire crews were needed when a large barn storing caravans, machinery and highly explosive gas cylinders caught fire in North Devon.

The fire broke out at a farm in Umberleigh just after 9pm on Good Friday (April 15).

Initially two fire engines from Barnstaple and one from South Molton were mobilised but as more details of the fire were given, the incident was escalated and the fire service sent a water carrier from Barnstaple.

When crews arrived at the farm, they found a fully developed large barn fire further complicated by the fact it was storing multiple caravans, machinery and cylinders of butane and propane, argon.

Two more fire engines were sent from Braunton and Torrington as well as an aerial platform ladder from Danes Castle.

The environmental protection unit was mobilised from South Molton and a further water carrier from Exeter.


The incident command unit from Ilfracombe was also in attendance, and later a unit from Martock.

Due to the size and nature of the fire, the nearby A377 was closed for safety.

The fire totally destroyed the barn and all its contents, but no-one was injured.

The cause of the fire is thought to be accidental.

Crews left the farm nearly twenty hours later.