FIREFIGHTERS from across the area have been battling a blaze at an historic village pub today.

The alarm was raised at just after 11.30am when the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service received numerous calls to thatched roof fire at the Kingsdon Inn at Kingsdon, near Somerton.

Eight fire engines from Somerton, Martock, Ilminster, Yeovil, Street and Glastonbury were initially mobilised, along with the command support unit from Street and the water carrier from Yeovil.

A Fire Service spokesman said: "The fire could be seen in the distance before the first crews arrived on scene.

"On arrival crews confirmed the thatched roof was well alight and begun extinguishing with two hose reel jets.

"There were six breathing apparatus wearers undertaking salvage operations in the property, and crews also confirmed the fire had broken through the roof.

"A hydraulic platform was also requested at this time, and Taunton's was mobilised."

Extra firefighters were called with another four engines coming from Yeovil, Crewkerne, Castle Cary and Wincanton along with further incident support units from Taunton and Yeovil.

The thatched roof at the 300-year-old pub was well alight and officers started salvage operations and on the roof stripping away thatch.

A building control officer, Western Power, police and ambulance personnel also all attended this incident, while the Salvation Army were on hand to provide catering for personnel.

The road by the pub has been closed by the Highways Agency and will remain shut for between three and four days.

The Fire Service spokesman added: "Crews are still at work with drag forks removing thatch and are making good progress."

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