POLICE are investigating a huge fire which broke out with a series of explosions at a an Ipplepen industrial estate have said it is being treated as arson.
Forty-five firefighters were at the scene on Wrigwell estate off the Totnes Road on Tuesday night.
Five fire engines and two water bowsers were sent to the scene just after 7.30pm.
Tree surgeon Rob Bedward from Kingsteignton, who has a unit on the estate, called emergency services.
He said: "It was huge. I have never seen anything like it. There was a series of explosions with loud booms and the sky was orange.
"The flames were as tall as trees. I had to get back 400 metres just so I could feel safe."
Rob was just packing up his kit when he smelt the smoke and soon realised a fire had spread to vehicles and a nearby unit owned by Adrian Scott.
Mr Scott said a 24ft container used for storage, a caravan used as an office and two horse boxes which he was in the process of selling were badly damaged in the incident.
He was alerted by a neighbouring business: "I got there before the fire brigade arrived and there was really intense flames.
"I've never seen anything like it. The flames were about 30ft. Several of my vehicles were also broken into as well. The ignition was ripped out of one and the bonnet was up on another car."
Darren Peters, station manager at Torquay, said: "We now have what we believe to be the remains of two horse boxes and a lorry which were on fire.
"Our main job was to stop the fire spreading to the nearby containers as some had acetylene in them.
"We had no water supply nearby so had to shuttle water backwards and forwards.
"We believe before we arrived there were a couple of light explosions as there were LPG cylinders."
Crews from Totnes, Torquay, Newton Abbot and Paignton and Brixham attended.
By 12.30am, the incident had been scaled back, with two crews still at the scene.
Scenes of crime officers were working with fire investigators yesterday morning to investigate the cause.