A FOURTH suspected arson attack on a barn in Teignbridge is being investigated by fire chiefs.

Some 30 firefighter dealt with the latest blaze at Deane Road near Stokeinteignhead just before midnight yesterday (December 21).

Six appliaances responded to the 999 shout at 11.46pm with crews keeping a vigil throughout the night.

Emergency services were still on site 12 hours later tackling and containing the fire this morning.

The light of day revealed the full extent of the damage caused during the drama with nothing remaining but a crumbling structure.

Some 1,000 bales of hay and straw were destroyed and cows occupying part of the barn were rushed to safety as it burnt to the ground.

Luckily, none of the animals was injured.

The hay and straw were still burning when the sun came up as firefighters tried to contain the blaze.

One firefighter from Topsham at the scene said he and his colleagues could not enter the barn because the structure was unstable.

All they could do was watch on and keep a close eye on the fire making sure it didn’t spread.

Hosereel jets were used in a bid to protect the surrounding fields and barns.

Teams from all over the area including Plymouth, Topsham, Ashburton, Newton Abbot, Paignton, Torquay and Teignmouth were called in.

In the last month arsonists have torched three other barns throughout the district.

Firefighters battled two blazes in Compton and one at Fluder Hill in Kingskerswell.

Investigations are being carried out to establish whether the Stokeinteignhead incident is linked.

A spokesman from the fire service’s Exeter HQ said: ‘At this stage we believe the fire was started deliberately.

‘There is no evidence to say they are linked – but investigations are continuing.’