“WHAT’S all the fuss about?” – the words of 82-year-old Desmond Lock, who carried on having his bath, blissfully unaware his neighbours were being evacuated amid fears gas cylinders might explode outside his home.

Firefighters were despatched to Mr Lock’s home in Fordgate near North Petherton at 9.30pm on Thursday night after a 1935 Bath and West Show shed caught fire and flames spread to nearby trees.

Fire crews cordoned off the area and evacuated people to a safety point nearby for nearly an hour while gas cylinders just outside the shed were safely removed.

However, Mr Lock was oblivious to the commotion, and when his son Nick urgently banged on his door, he came out and asked, ‘what’s all the fuss about?’”

Nick added: “This was the most excitement we have had for about 20 years.

“All the local people came down to help. We were all a bit nervous that the gas cylinder might blow.”

Next door neighbour Andrew Guppy, 18, sister Harriet, and friend Matthew Hodge were among 20 people who rushed to Mr Lock’s aid.

Andrew said: “I ran out with a bucket then saw it wasn’t going to do much. When the fire was at its biggest it was pretty scary and we didn’t know who was inside.”

Harriet added: “The whole village came to help out. It was really rather heart-warming.”

Fire crews later said the blaze, which caused thousands of pounds worth of damage, started when controlled burning earlier in the day was not properly extinguished.