Dartmouth's Tudor buildings destroyed by chip shop fire

Crews from across Devon have battled to control a fire which swept through Dartmouth's historic town centre

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A fire which swept through the Devon resort of Dartmouth has destroyed parts of its historic Tudor centre.

The fire started in a fish and chip shop at lunchtime on Friday and quickly spread to adjoining properties in Fairfax Place.

Eight businesses and up to 15 flats were destroyed or severely damaged by the fire, but no-one was injured.

Crews are still on site to continue damping down hot spots.

Structural experts are assessing the safety of the buildings, but it is not yet known how many of them may have to be demolished.

The Tudor buildings date back to the early 16th Century and some are English Heritage Grade I and Grade II listed.

'Total disaster'

At its height nearly 100 firefighters from across Devon fought to control the fire.

Mayor of Dartmouth, Richard Rendle, told BBC News it was a "human tragedy and a historic one".

Mr Rendle said many of the people who lost their homes were taken in by residents on Friday night.

"It's rather rewarding to see how this town has rallied round," he said.

"I know people who have previously never met, have opened their homes."

John Walker, a cameramen, who lives in the town described the fire as a "total disaster".

A large part of the town remains cordoned off for safety reasons.

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