AN isolated farmhouse was destroyed in a fire this afternoon which is thought to have been caused by mice or rats.
The rodents had gnawed through electrical wiring which was then thought to have shorted and started a blaze in the roof of the building.
The fire in Raddington, between Skilgate and Chipstable, was spotted at 2.30 pm, and initially firefighters attended from Wiveliscombe, Dulverton, and Wellington.
Heavy smoke was issuing from the roof when the fire brigade arrived and the scale of the incident was quickly established.
Two more fire engines were called from Tiverton, together with a command support unit from Ilminster and an incident support unit from Taunton, making a total of seven appliances.
The fire crews took several hours fighting the fire externally with three main jets, two hose reel jets, and six firefighters wearing breathing apparatus.
They also carried out salvage work.
The incident was scaled down to three pumps shortly after 7 pm and the blaze was finally extinguished some time later.
More than three-quarters of the farmhouse was destroyed by the fire and most of the remainder was damaged by water used to fight it.