Caravan site gutted in huge fire causing £1m in damage
Burnt out caravans at the site. Pics from Devon & Somerset Fire Service
Thursday, 06, Oct 2016 09:47
by Ed Davies
An enormous fire has ripped through 160 caravans causing £1 million in damage at a site in Somerset
The fire broke out at around 1.30am on Saturday morning at Highbridge Caravan Centre in Somerset - and quickly spread as caravans and gas cylinders caught light and exploded.
More than 60 people phoned the emergency services to report hearing explosions.
Fire crews from across Bristol and Somerset tackled the blaze through the night and remained on the scene all day on Saturday, October 1, damping down the remains of the fire.
Dozens of caravans were moved to create 'fire breaks' and the blaze was eventually brought under control at around 4.20am on Saturday morning.
It is now thought that around 160 caravans were destroyed in the blaze, which witnesses have described as being "like a war zone".
Speaking to the Bristol Post, Philip Davies, Director of Highbridge Caravans, praised the quick-thinking actions of a security guard who raised the alarm.
"We are devastated that this has happened," he said. "More than 100 caravans have been destroyed and as each has a value of around £10 to £15,000 the overall figure will be around £1million.
"I'm thankful that our security guard spotted the fire early and thank the emergency services for their work - we had ten fire engines at the peak of the incident."
The cause of the blaze is not yet known but it is originally through to have started in a shed or fence on the perimeter of the 11-acre site.
Mr Davies added: "Fortunately, the fire did not spread to any buildings and no-one was hurt, so our business is open and we continue as usual.
"Our workshops, sales area, accessories and awnings shop are all open for business."
A spokesman for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: "After the incident was sectorised, at around 4.20am, to enable crews to tackle the fire as effectively as possible, and a natural fire break created, crews moved as many caravans as possible.
"Confirmation was received that good progress was being made, the fire was surrounded and the main fire was now out.
"The incident will be scaled down shortly but this is going to be a protracted incident with crews currently at work with six main jets, damping down a large area of hotspots. Police, Ambulance and utility companies are also in attendance.
"No persons were injured and the cause will be determined once the fire has been fully extinguished."