POLICE have issued an appeal for witnesses following a suspicious fire which destroyed two homes on the edge of the Quantock Hills during the early hours of today.
The properties, two cottages in Stockham, near West Bagborough, were believed to have been empty for several months.
The alarm was raised at 2.30 am, but police are keen to hear from anybody who may have been driving along the lane between West Bagborough and Triscombe and the junction of Rock Lane and Kennel Lane - where the cottages were located - any time from 8pm onwards last night.
In particular, officers would like to hear from anybody who may have seen a vehicle parking in the area, especially if it was near to the cottages.
Fire and rescue crews from Williton, Wiveliscombe, Taunton, and Bridgwater, as well as two officers, were called to the blaze
They started to arrive from 2.28 am and found two adjoining derelict properties were well alight.
The crews used compressed air foam and three hose reel jets to extinguish the fire and dampen down the buildings.
Arson was suspected, although officially the cause was unknown and was said to be still under investigation.
Anybody who may have any information about the incident is asked to contact Taunton police by calling 0845 4567000, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where reports can be made anonymously.