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VIDEO: Man hospitalised after fire in Lyngford Square, Taunton
Updated 5:10pm Thursday 31st October 2013 in News
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- Shed goes up in flames shortly before 11pm.
- Two nearby properties also damaged.
- Neighbours closest to shed forced to flee from blaze.
- Surrounding homes also evacuated as eyewitnesses describe fear of gas explosion.
- 59-year-old man taken to hospital with injuries.
POLICE say an investigation into the cause of the fire is underway and a 47-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of abstracting electricity and theft of gas. He remains in police custody today.
Insp Stuart Bell, of Taunton police station, said: “Fire investigators and crime scene investigators are still working to establish the cause of the fire.
"I’d like to praise the quick actions of neighbours on discovering the blaze, which meant that once the fire service were on the scene they were able to contain the fire and limit the damage.”
Insp Bell added that the man taken to Musgrove Park Hospital as a precaution after helping to tackle the fire was later released without serious injury.
EYEWITNESS Tracey Orchard said her son went to try and help the two women in the house next door but was blown back by the force of the blaze.
Tracey, who was forced to leave her home in Lyngford Square for four hours during the drama, said: "It was horrendous. I have never seen a fire like it.
"It's lucky we didn't have any gale force winds because we could have been looking at a lot worse."
She added: "The Red Cross were fantastic."
TEAMS from the British Red Cross were on hand to support people who were evacuated from their homes.
Some residents reported being without power until around 4am while Western Power worked to shut off the leaking gas.
THE blaze lights up the sky last night. Photo: Bella Wilson.
TWO women - Katie Matravers and Kathryn Rowe - were in the house next door, which was damaged by the blaze.
The fire spread to the property, which was the closest to the shed, forcing the tenants to flee out the back and through a neighbour's garden.
Their landlord, Andrew Sully, was round within ten minutes. He said gas was "gushing" out of the ground and feared an explosion.
Mr Sully said around a dozen homes were evacuated and added: "You could smell the gas, it was gushing out of the ground.
"It was crackling and the side of the house was orange.
"I don't know how I'm going to sort this out but it's fortunate there was no explosion; it could have been disastrous."
THE aftermath of the fire on Thursday afternoon.
THE blackened mess left behind at the scene of the fire.
ANOTHER view of the fire. Photo by Tiffany Zenda.
A VIDEO of the scene taken by James Fowler.
DID you see the fire or take photographs? Do you live nearby?
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A 59-YEAR-OLD man was taken to hospital following a large fire in Priorswood, Taunton last night (October 30).
Two sheds went up in flames at a property in Lyngford Square at around 10.50pm and surrounding homes were evacuated by police.
The two sheds were severely damaged by the fire and two adjacent properties were also slightly damaged by the fire and the heat, the fire service said.
A spokesman said the man was taken to hospital by ambulance as a "precautionary measure."
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