AN arsonist gang was being sought in Minehead early today after a parked van was set alight in the centre of the town, putting a nearby thatched cottage at risk.
Firefighters from the Minehead station were called to deal with the early hours blaze, which happened in Bampton Street.
Police were also quickly on the scene and three men wearing hoods were seen running away from the scene and into Selbourne Place.
Both of the Minehead fire appliances were needed at the incident because of the risk the flames and sparks posed to the thatched property.
The silver colour Transit van was well alight when the fire and rescue crews reached the scene shortly before 2.45 am.
It suffered damage to the passenger and engine compartments by fire and smoke and also to the rear of vehicle as the firemen extinguished the flames using two hose reel jets.
The cause of the fire was found to be deliberate.
Anybody with any information about the incident should call PC Mark Potter at Minehead Police Station on 0845 4567000 or use the anonymous Crimestoppers free number 0800 555111.