A Sainsbury’s lorry went up in flames on the B3174 in Ottery St Mary yesterday morning.

The HGV hit a tree, came to rest in a ditch, and caught fire at 8.20am.

The driver escaped unharmed but the lorry was engulfed by the blaze.

Sidmouth Herald: Firefighters tackling HGV fire in Ottery

Firefighters from Ottery and Exeter were called to the scene and found the lorry well alight. They were soon joined by two more appliances from Honiton and Exeter.

Sidmouth Herald: Firefighters tackling HGV fire in Ottery

Police and Highways attended to manage traffic and assess damage to the road surface.

In total, 12 breathing apparatus sets, two foam jets, two hose reel jets and two main jets were used to extinguish the fire. Firefighters also used hydraulic spreaders, a triple extension ladder, thermal imaging camera and small tools.

The lorry was completely destroyed and around 20 metres of hedgerow were also burnt out.

Sidmouth Herald: Firefighters tackling HGV fire in Ottery

Fire crews left the scene just before 3.30pm after checking for any remaining hotspots, but the road remained closed until about 10pm for removal of the wrecked lorry and its contents. It had been carrying refrigerated food supplies.

Ottery Fire Station said: “We’d like to thank everyone for their patience while we dealt with this incident with the road being closed most of the day. Also a big thank you to Sainsbury’s who provided a very generous lunch to the crews with pizzas, garlic bread, and cans of Coke.

Sidmouth Herald: Firefighters taking a break with food supplied by Sainsbury's

“Thank you also to Scott Cheadle who captured some excellent images of the incident which gives some insight into how incidents of this type are dealt with.

“Finally we would like to thank the local businesses who allow our crew to respond from their workplaces to keep the local community and wider community safe. Without their support we would not be able to give a quick and safe response.”

Scott, from Toadpit Medical Services which is based near the scene of the fire, said he has passed on his footage of the firefighting exercise to Ottery Fire Station.

He said: “I was very careful not to get in their way or distract them. However it turned out that it was very useful to them.”

Sainsbury's said it is investigating the road accident.