A fire described as “devastating” by Devon’s chief fire officer tore through an industrial premises near Totnes yesterday evening.

Five fire crews from Totnes, Ivybridge, Buckfastleigh, Torquay and Paignton attended the blaze at Bow Mill Industrial Units, Broadhempston on Monday.

On its Facebook page, Buckfastleigh Fire Station said the crew were sent to a large building blaze, and on arrival were “faced with a well developed fire.”

Also attending were the service’s water bowser and aerial ladder platform, but the lack of a designated fire hydrant at the scene made for a “challenging” initial response, according to Buckfastleigh Fire Station.

The post added: “A local stream was dammed to provide the depth to enable us to pump from the stream to feed into a fire appliance and the aerial ladder platform that was used to fight the fire from above.

“The National Grid attended to confirm power was isolated to the buildings which were used as vehicle repair units.

“The occupiers were on hand to provide information to the officer in charge to enable him to assess and deal with the hazards posed within.

“We hope that these small businesses are able to recover quickly from this event and thank them for their help throughout the incident.”

Gerald Taylor, Devon and Somerset Fire Service’s chief officer said on Twitter fire teams had “fought hard” to bring the blaze under control but did not detail the final extent of the damage.

Images posted by Mr Taylor and Buckfastleigh Fire Station show industrial buildings alight as several firefighters tackle the inferno with firehoses.

“Devastating fire for small businesses in Totnes this evening,” Taylor tweeted at 10.32 on Monday evening (January 23).

“Our teams fought hard to bring it under control. I hope these small companies can recover as soon as possible. @DSFireUpdates”