A fire which broke out in a shop in Crewkerne spread to nearby properties and destroyed them.
Fire fighters were called to the scene at around 1.30am.
At approximately 2am, the nearby George Hotel was evacuated. Marc Newton, who was staying at the hotel, said: “The fire brigade were already tackling the fire. A fireman came over and asked the hotel staff for blankets, which they needed urgently. There was a lot of smoke and we could see embers flying out of the building.
“As the wind was blowing in our direction, towards our hotel, we were evacuated further away from the area. We had to wait for around half an hour in a nearby car-park. When the risk of the fire spreading had been taken care of, we were allowed into our hotel restaurant for warmth, but the smoke and the direction of the wind made it unsafe to go back to our rooms. We waited for another 10 to 15 minutes before being allowed back into our rooms.”
Jules Campbell, owner of Crooked Horn Antiques, saw the smoke from his home just down the road. Around 3am he heard a knock on the door when fire rescue services came asking for the keys to the Swan Hotel, which he also owns, to check the fire hadn’t spread.
Mr Campbell said: “When I first saw the smoke I was worried it may be the Swan Hotel, which we are in the process of refurbishing.
“I then saw it seemed to come from Original Health Centre. The fire spread to the neighbouring property, which we own and are currently using while we refurbish the Swan next door.
“Everything is ruined in there. We just put in a new kitchen and bathroom upstairs and it is destroyed, as well as the office equipment downstairs.
“Hopefully we can rebuild eventually.”
The fire was extinguished around 8am and the road reopened a couple of hours later.