A weekly newspaper has been cancelled this week’s edition after a fire at the office where it is produced.
Firefighters spent several hours tackling the blaze and contained it to three of the offices in Williton, which hit a reception area and advertisement sales office on the ground was hit, as well as a meeting room and the adjoining editor’s office on the first floor.
Journalists were left with no power, telephones or computers, and properties in the village centre were without electricity for several hours after the fire, in the early hours of Monday morning.
West Somerset Council provided some temporary office space for journalists on Monday to test computers which survived the fire, and have since relocated to the offices of Tindle sister title the Wellington Weekly News.
A small production department has been set up at the newspaper’s branch office in Minehead, where its advertisement sales staff are also working from.
Editor Gareth Purcell said: “We are indebted to our local firefighters for the job they did in preventing a bad situation from being even worse.
“We often report on the great job they do, and we now have first-hand experience of just how good they are.”
The cause of the fire, which started in the reception area, is not yet clear.
An announcement on the Free Press website reads: “We’ll bring you any updates, but our aim this week is to carry on as normally as we can, publishing the Free Press on Friday as usual and also producing the Wellington Weekly News. Unfortunately, we have had to cancel this week’s News-Trader.”