THE owners of a village cottage have been left devastated after a fire spread from a nearby barn and destroyed the building.

Fire crews from Leyburn, Hawes, Colburn Richmond and Reeth spent today tackling the fire in Carperby, near Leyburn, in Wensleydale, after being alerted at 9.45am.

The main street of the North Yorkshire village was closed for several hours as fire engines parked in the road as they could not get close to the semi-detached property, which is accessed by a track.

A North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said no one had been trapped in the 20m by 10m barn or the cottage, which was being renovated.

She said it was not known what caused the fire and a lighting rig had been transported from Malton to the scene to enable crews to continue damping down the blaze overnight, to stop the fire spreading to neighbouring properties.

Resident Anne Moore said the cottage's owners, who had been set to move into the property, were in shock and "at a loss" at what to do.

She said: "It is very upsetting, we don't like anything like that to happen to people."