Somerset

Two men arrested after fire in the former Highbridge Hotel

Two men, both aged 19, have been arrested in connection with a fire that gutted a derelict hotel in Somerset.

Emergency services were called to former Highbridge Hotel on Huntspill Road, Highbridge, late on Monday, following numerous 999 calls.

The blaze badly damaged the building, which has been closed since a previous fire in 2008.

A Devon and Somerset Fire Service spokesman said it was believed the fire may have been started deliberately.

The men were arrested on suspicion of arson with intent and are being questioned by police.

The A38 was closed for several hours because of smoke blowing across the road.

The fire and rescue service spokesman added that the building was virtually destroyed in the blaze.

"We have had other severe fires there in the past but yesterday [Monday] the fabric of the building was gutted.

"The difficulty we had was, because of the previous fires, it was dangerous to go inside so initially we had to fight the fire from outside.

"No-one was hurt and fire officers will be continuing their investigation into the blaze today," he added.

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