River Cottage Badly Damaged By Fire

A serious fire has "severely damaged'' celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Park Farm in Devon.

The blaze, which happened just after 10pm on Tuesday night, has left the River Cottage team at the chef's headquarters in Axminster, Devon, "shocked and upset''.

Fearnley-Whittingstall, who is away filming, is yet to find out about the fire, a spokesman said. The cause of the blaze is unknown.

Emergency services, including the police and fire crews, went to the scene after the single-storey building caught fire.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said eight fire engines and 80 firefighters attended the farm after receiving calls to a commercial kitchen on fire. The fire was brought under control after nearly three hours and there were no injuries.

Fire at Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall's events barn

Members of the Salvation Army also attended the scene to provide catering for those affected by the fire and members of the emergency services.

The River Cottage Canteen and Deli at Axminster was unaffected and is open, a spokesman said.

But the cookery school courses at Park Farm will not be running in the short term.

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