Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service have been giving their account of the blaze that destroyed a 14th century pub and adjoining cottages in Stokenham,

The fire broke out in the early hours of the morning on Monday September 27.

For the Kingsbridge crew it started at twenty two minutes past midnight when they, along with crews from Salcombe, Dartmouth which bought an aerial appliance and Crownhill in Plymouth, were alerted to respond to a fire.

As they were on their way, the control room continued to receive calls and decided to increase the response calling in fire fighters from Modbury and Totnes

The Kingsbridge crew were first on the scene and the kitchen of the Tradesman’s Arms was fully alight. Fortunately there was nobody inside the building.

Two firefighters with breathing apparatus made sure the services were switched off and trained a jet on the fire.

As other crews started to arrive they were allocated different sectors.

Sector three, behind the properties, was upwind and all personnel had to wear breathing apparatus even while outside the property.

Thankfully the fire alarm system had gone off allowing those inside to escape but three people, the two residents in the pub B&B and one staff member, were given oxygen at the scene for minor smoke inhalation by fire service crew before the arrival of paramedics from South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

Unfortunately the fire, fanned by the increasingly strong winds, continued to take hold and more fire appliances were called in firstly taking the total to to eight and then twelve by 1.13am as the flames started to come through the thatch.

It was at this time that the decision was taken for the safety of crews to withdraw from inside the properties and fight the fire from the outside.

Throughout the night and into the morning crews worked in relays behind the properties with both water and foam to put the fire out.

The first crew from Kingsbridge were at the scene for almost ten hours.

In total 143 fire service crew attended from stations as far away as Taunton, Bideford and Crediton.

The pub and cottages were destroyed so a crowdfunding page has been set up in aid of those affected: