FIVE derelict properties were left badly damaged after a suspected arson attack in Highbridge. 

Firefighters were called to Clyce Road in Highbridge at 5.30pm on Wednesday (March 18) following reports of a fire at a derelict building. 

Firefighters from Burnham-on-Sea, Bridgwater and Street were sent to the scene. 

Huntspill Road was closed in both directions while firefighters tackle the fire but it has since reopened.

A spokesperson for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Fire control received several calls reporting smoke issuing from a derelict building.

"Two crews from Burnham-on-Sea and one from Bridgwater, were all sent. On arrival crews confirmed that the building was well alight.

"Further fire engines from Bridgwater, as well as an Aerial Platform Ladder from Bridgwater and Command Support Unit from Street were also sent.

"The incident involved a two storey terraced building of five derelict properties measuring approximately 30m x 10m constructed of brick and tile. 

"40 per cent fire damage and 70 per cent smoke damage caused to the property. 

"Crews have used two breathing apparatus wearers, one hosereel jet, two main jets and small tools to extinguish the fire and a thermal image camera to check for hotspots. 

"Re-inspection being carried out by fire service in daylight. 

"Due to suspicion of arson police have also attended and a fire investigation officer will attend tomorrow."

An eyewitness who was at the scene said the YMCA in Highbridge was evacuated.

She said: "Me and my friend were walking back from Highbridge town centre and then there was all this smoke.

"We both live in the YMCA and we were worried as we thought it was where we were staying but we got up close enough to see it was this derelict house next to the YMCA. 

"My friend said let's go as the smoke was so bad so I took as many pics as I could.

"We got back to the YMCA and then were told to be evacuated. I am just glad no one was hurt."

The Weekly News has contacted Avon and Somerset Police for comment.