EMERGENCY services rushed to a Bridgwater street after reports of a suspected arson attack.

Firefighters were called to Ashleigh Terrace at around 9.45 last night (November 12) to reports a van was on fire.

On arrival, they discovered the fire was inside a car port and had potential to spread.

A spokesperson for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue said: "Two fire engines were initially mobilised following calls reporting a van on fire at the above location.

"However, further calls confirmed it was under a car port and looked like it was spreading, so a further fire appliance was mobilised.

"Our crews in attendance were from Bridgwater and Burnham On Sea.

"Initial crews were on scene within minutes and confirmed the fire had spread to a neighbouring garden shed and fences. However, they soon had it under control and prevented it from spreading any further.

"A thermal imaging camera was used to check neighbouring properties for fire spread, while the fire was being extinguished using four breathing apparatus, two hose reel jets and a compressed air foam jet.

"The police were also requested to attend as the cause was believed to be deliberate ignition."

At 10.37pm the fire had been brought under control.

The van was destroyed, as well as 10-12 metres of fencing and the roof of the neighbouring garden shed.

The spokesperson added: "Luckily there were no casualties and once crews were satisfied the fire was out and the scene made safe, the incident was left in the hands of the police."

Tommy Murphy was leaving his partner's home when he saw the van immersed in flames.

"I left my partner's home just to go and get some food and as I turned the corner I saw the van on fire," Mr Murphy said.

"The heat caused two of the windows to blow out, and the fire spread to a nearby fence.

"I went and alerted one of my neighbours whose property was close to the fire.

"It was a man I hadn't met before but once he realised what was happening he said 'Oh my God, thank you'.

"I hope whoever did this is caught. It could have been much worse - there are many families with young children who live around here.

"It has left people quite shook up."

Avon and Somerset Police confirmed that it was investigating the incident.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: "It is believed the fire was started deliberately.

"As part of our investigation we are carrying out house to house enquiries and will be reviewing any CCTV footage available.

"If anyone saw anything suspicious in the area at the time or has information which could help with the enquiry, please call 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5219/262497."