Two fire crews from Barnstaple plus two from Bideford and the crew from Appledore tackled the blaze, which started just after 4.30am. At its height the fire stretched from the ground floor to the roof and Atlantic Way was closed in both directions. The fire service said due to information from the police the incident was being treated as people possibly being inside, although the building is disused. At 8.41am it was confirmed that everyone had been accounted for. The aerial ladder platform from Barnstaple, a fire engine from Braunton and the command support vehicle from Ilfracombe, plus a water carrier from Danes Castle and welfare pod from Ivybridge were also in attendance. Shocked nearby residents took to Facebook to post pictures of the building going up in flames. At 7.49am the fire service said it was making steady progress and had identified and isolated solar panels. At 10am two appliances and an aerial ladder remained at the scene dampening down. All fire service appliances left the scene at 12.05pm and the duty of care and securing the premises was left with the police.