Devon fete goes ahead despite marquee burning down

People in a Devon village have rallied around to ensure their fete goes ahead after the marquee was destroyed in a fire the day before the event.

Fire engines from Totnes were called to the Headlands football ground in Broadhempston on Friday night following reports the marquee was alight.

The fire, which is being treated as suspicious, is being investigated.

An emergency meeting was held in the village earlier and a clean-up staged prior to the fete opening at 1400 BST.

'Pretty devastated'

The marquee, which is owned by the village, was to be used to serve afternoon teas at the fete.

Graham Waites, a member of the fete committee, said: "Villagers have all been offering to supply gazebos and we've also had offers of help and supplies from other parishes too.

"We understand the fire is suspected arson because there was no electricity in the marquee to set a fire off and no gas either - there was nothing which could have sparked off a fire in any way.

"People in the village are horrified that this has happened and really don't understand why someone would have wanted to do it.

"It just seems an act of vandalism - thoughtless and uncaring.

"Everyone is pretty devastated but the village has pulled together to ensure the fete takes place as planned."

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