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Fire at Old Rectory in Bideford which destroyed car is believed to be deliberate

By NDJJoel  |  Posted: April 10, 2013

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A fire which started in a van and spread to a nearby building in Bideford last night is believed to have been started deliberately.

Fire crews from Bideford, Appledore and Barnstaple, as well as the incident command unit from Ilfracombe, were called to the scene at around 9pm.

Upon arrival, crews from Bideford confirmed the fire was at the two-storey Old Rectory.

A large commercial Traffic Panel Van, which was parked at the rear of the old vicarage, was well alight and there were also a number of LPG gas cylinders between the van and the building.

Two covering water jets and four firefighters with breathing apparatus tackled the blaze and the gas cylinders were removed and made safe.

Firefighters managed to get the blaze under control and extinguished by midnight.

Watch Manager Neil Hole said: “We were initially called to a fire in the open but a then a member of the public came in to the station to say a building was on fire.

“When we arrived the van was well alight and was adjacent to the rear of the property. The fire was also spreading to the building.

“Crews worked hard using the boundaries of the wall surrounding the building to conceal the fire and cool the cyclinders before removing them.”

The van was completely destroyed by the fire and the house suffered slight fire damage.

Fire crews ventilated the property which was heavily smoke-logged.

It is understood the fire was started deliberately.

Did you see this fire? Have you got pictures? If so, please contact Emma Glanfield on eglanfield@northdevonjournal.co.uk or 01271 347432.

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