Celebrity chef's HQ damaged by fire

10 Feb 2012

Some 80 firefighters have tackled a fire which "severely damaged" the main barn at River Cottage Park Farm owned by celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Staff at the chef's 66-acre headquarters in Axminster, Devon, were left "shocked and upset" by the blaze, which happened just after 10pm on Tuesday.

Eight fire engines attended the single-storey building after callers reported a commercial kitchen on fire, said Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.

It was brought under control after nearly three hours, according to a spokesman for the fire service, who said 80 firefighters were mobilised including a hazardous materials and environmental pollution officer and fire investigation officer.

A spokesman for River Cottage said: "A serious fire severely damaged the main barn at River Cottage Park Farm headquarters in Axminster. Thankfully, no people, or animals, were hurt."

Fearnley-Whittingstall is away filming and is yet to find out about the fire, added the spokesman.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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