A fire destroyed a wheelie bin storage area in Barnstaple yesterday evening, despite the efforts of a local man who fought the fire with a handheld extinguisher.
A large plume of black smoke rose from the storage area in Water Lane Close, adjacent to Hollowtree Road in Newport, when the fire took hold at around 5.20pm.
The fire, which firefighters said appeared to have started accidentally, completely destroyed ten wheelie bins and the wooden fence surrounding them.
And that was despite the firefighting efforts of Bevan Waghorn. Zimbabwean Bevan, who lives in Newport, was visiting his grandmother in one of the nearby flats when a woman rang the doorbell and told him there was a fire.
He immediately ran outside to see the fire, which at the time was contained to just one bin.
"I ran to find an extinguisher," he said, "but by the time I found one and got back they were all on fire.
"I did my best to put it out as much as possible but the extinguisher ran out."
Bevan then ran to get another while another bystander called the fire brigade.
One engine from Barnstaple fire station attended the fire and by the time Bevan returned they had arrived and set about extinguishing the fire.
Incident commander Pete Merrilees said it appeared to have started accidentally.
"It looks like something that has been discarded started it," he said.
"It definitely seems accidental and we don't think it's deliberate."
However, one or two bystanders said they suspected foul play.