THREE horses had to be evacuated after part of a timber-framed stable caught fire at a rural location near Sherborne yesterday evening.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service received a report of smoke and flames at a rural location south west of Sandford Orcas, and two fire appliances crewed by retained fire-fighters from Sherborne responded to the scene.

An off road light vehicle was then requested by fire fighters due to difficult access to the area and a Land Rover from Maiden Newton fire station was sent, to attend the fire which also involved a caravan.

The fire was extinguished using main lines and hose reel jets at around 8.14pm, and part of the gable end of the stable block was affected, while 75-per-cent of the caravan was destroyed.

Dorset Police are investigating the incident with the cause believed to be deliberate.