Highlands & Islands

Blaze at Speyside Heather Centre near Grantown on Spey

Blaze at Speyside Heather Centre Image copyright Aaron Sneddon

Forty firefighters have been dealing with a blaze that has destroyed large parts of the Speyside Heather Centre at Dulnain Bridge, near Grantown on Spey.

The alarm was raised at about 08:20 and nine Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crews were sent to the scene.

Local residents have been advised to keep doors and windows closed because of the amount of smoke from the fire.

SFRS said the blaze at the large site was under control but said crews would be at the scene until Friday evening.

The site includes a garden centre and restaurant.

'Spread rapidly'

The cause of the incident was not known. An investigation would begin as soon as it was safe to do so, the fire service said.

Five appliances and four specialist support vehicles were deployed by SFRS. Personnel from Grantown, Aviemore, Inverness, Kingussie and Nairn fire stations have been involved.

In a sign of the scale of the operation, SFRS said officers requested 20 replacement breathing apparatus cylinders to replenish those depleted since firefighters reached the scene.

Station manager Robbie MacDougall, the incident commander, said: "Our crews have completely surrounded the fire but the operation is likely to continue into this evening.

"Flames spread rapidly through the building and the fire was already very well developed when first responders arrived.

"Our teams have been working extremely hard to protect adjacent maintenance buildings from the intense flames and we will continue the firefighting operation until it's brought to a safe conclusion."