Investigations have begun into a tearooms blaze that broke out in the early hours of the morning near Exmouth seafront.
The fire service was called to tackle a blaze at the award-winning Bumble and Bee tearooms, in Manor Gardens, Alexandra Terrace, shortly after 3am on Wednesday, July 8, where crews found smoke and flames coming from the building.
The roof was partially destroyed by the blaze and police and the fire service have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire.
The fire was reported by a member of the public who was walking past the tearooms in the early hours.
Warren Oak, Exmouth fire station watch manager, white watch, said the crews worked to make the building safe and stop the fire from spreading.
He said: “A member of the public put the call in as they were walking past.
“We were called out and as we arrived, we found part of the roof was well-alight.
“We got to work to try and reduce fire spread and make safe.
“Investigations with the police and fire service are ongoing.”
Crews from Exmouth, Sidmouth, Honiton, Topsham and Exeter spent almost four hours bringing the blaze under control.
By around 5am, after the flames were extinguished, the crews were scaled back and one fire appliance remained.
A fire service spokesperson said: “The cause of the fire is being investigated.”
After the alert was raised Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service sent two fire engines from Exmouth, one from Middlemoor, and an aerial ladder platform from Danes Castle.
When the first crews confirmed smoke and flames were coming from the building, a request was made for further fire help and crews from Topsham and Sidmouth arrived, along with the command support unit from Honiton and incident support unit from Bovey Tracey.
At around 5.15am, the fire service confirmed that half of the tea room building roof space had been destroyed by the blaze.
The incident was scaled back and one pumping appliance remained at the scene.