POLICE are appealing for witnesses following a suspected arson at the former headquarters of East Devon District Council in Sidmouth.

The fire service was first called about a fire at Knowle House, Knowle Drive, Sidmouth, at around 4.10am on Thursday, March 30, although the fire is thought to have first started at around 2.30am.

The building was extensively damaged during the incident which is being treated as arson.

Police had a previous report of a small fire at the same location on Sunday, March 26, which was extinguished by the fire service with little damage being caused.

On Sunday, March 26, one witness reported seeing a man at the scene, who was described as a white male in his early 20s, of medium build with dark hair and wearing camouflage trousers.

Officers are investigating both incidents, which they believe may be linked and are appealing for anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area to contact them.

If you witnessed the incident or have any information or dashcam footage that could help with enquiries, please contact police via the website here ( https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/contact/af/contact-us-beta/contact-us/ ), or by calling 101, quoting 50230073429.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at: Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling freephone 0800 555111.