Umberleigh fire: A377 remains closed as crews battle barn blaze

Fire crews from stations across Devon have attended an ongoing incident in Fishleigh Barton area, near Umberleigh. The incident started when an out-of-control caravan blaze spread to a barn containing potentially hazardous materials.

As a result, the A377 was closed and was expected to reopen by 5am. However, the incident remains ongoing and the A377 will remain closed for at least a “few more hours”, according to Devon Alert.

A diversion has been set up which will see motorists travel via the A396 to Tiverton and A361 to Barnstaple. At 4.51am it tweeted: “The A377 will remain closed for a few more hours due to the ongoing fire at Fishleigh Barton.

Read more: ‘Explosions’ heard, road closed and special unit called – live updates

“The diversion route is via the A396 to Tiverton and A361 to Barnstaple and vice versa. Please allow extra time for your journey.”

There are currently several fire engines on the scene from various stations. A spokesperson for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said crews were “making steady progress” and the believed cause of the fire is thought to have been an accident.

In a statement, a spokesperson said: “Fire control received a call from a member of the public regarding a large fire at a farm in Umberleigh. The initial response included two fire engines from Barnstaple, one fire engine from South Molton and an officer.



Firefighters tackle a blaze in a barn [file image]

“Based on further information gathered from the caller fire control then escalated the incident and mobilized a water carrier from Barnstaple and two officers. When crews arrived at the incident, they confirmed there was a fully developed large barn fire and requested a further two fire engines (Braunton and Torrington) and an ariel platform ladder (Danes Castle – Exeter) for access and resources.

“They then requested an environmental protection unit (South Molton) and a further water carrier (Danes castle – Exeter). The incident command unit from Ilfracombe is also in attendance.

“Crew have confirmed that the barn containing multiple caravans, machinery and cylinders has been 100 per cent damaged by fire but all persons on scene are accounted for.” Since this statement was made two more fire engines have been called to attend – one fire engine from Tiverton and one from Holesworthy.

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