Update: Fire crews deal with fierce chalet bungalow fire at hele Bay this evening (Wednesday).
AN elderly woman and her cat escaped from a large and rapidly spreading fire at their bungalow in Hele Bay, Ilfracombe this evening (Wednesday).
Six fire engines plus the hydraulic platform from Barnstaple attended the ferocious blaze in Chambercombe Road following numerous reports of a fire at around 6.30pm.
Group Commander Neil Blackburn said the woman inside had managed to get out fairly quickly, but the fire spread very fast, with a ‘substantial blaze’ shooting from the roof when fire crews arrived.
The first crew on scene called for four fire appliances, soon revising that to six and the aerial ladder. Incident commander on scene was Group Commander Pete Bond.
The cat also made its exit from the burning building and was fortunately scooped up by waiting fire fighters, who were able to put it in dog crate and leave it with a neighbour.
By 8.30pm most of the flames had been extinguished and fire fighters were dealing with smouldering wreckage from the roof, although a large plume of smoke continued to billow from the chalet bungalow.
Two fire engines from Ilfracombe, one each from Combe Martin and Woolacombe, plus two from Barnstaple were in attendance.
The main A399 road between the B3230 New Barnstaple Road junction and the Hillside Road junction remains closed in closed in both directions while the incidents continues, with fire fighters expected to remain on scene for some time.
The cause of the blaze is being investigated but it is not thought to be suspicious.