Dorset

Artists' work lost in Bridport studios fire

Bridport fire
Image caption The fire broke out in the the St Michael's Trading Estate close to Bridport town centre

A number of artists' studios have been destroyed by a fire on a Dorset trading estate.

The blaze broke out on the St Michael's Trading Estate in Bridport shortly after 18:00 BST on Saturday.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service said 12 appliances were used to tackle the fire in "extremely challenging" conditions.

The building housed a number of art studios. Artist Marion Taylor tweeted she was "devastated".

Image caption St Michael Studios housed workshops and exhibition space for more than 20 artists

At its height, a plume of smoke could be seen across much of Bridport and the surrounding area and people were warned to keep doors and windows closed.

Firefighters were first called when smoke was spotted coming from a third floor window on the trading estate. They remained at the scene overnight.

Studios on the upper level are thought to have been completely destroyed and access to the building has been restricted while it is made safe.

Among those based in the building, Paul Blow, posted on social media: "All our work, both physical and digital all gone."

Image caption Artist Kit Glaisyer's studio was destroyed

Kit Glaisyer said: "I called the fire brigade and as I was talking to them the smoke was coming out of the roof. I stayed for about an hour and the roof went up and I had to leave, it was too upsetting really."

"We're all just devastated. We can't really think ahead right now."

The studios housed workshops and exhibition space for more than 20 artists including painters, sculptors textile and glass workers used the studios.

No-one was hurt in the blaze.

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