A children’s clothes shop in the centre of Buckie was wrecked in a fire yesterday.
The blaze broke out on the ground floor of Too Cute Childrenswear on the town’s High Street just before 11am.
Two fire crews from Buckie and Fochabers were called to the incident.
Firefighters brought the blaze under control within 30 minutes and remained at the scene to dampen down the premises until shortly before 1pm.
The fire caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to stock and shop fittings. The interior was left a blackened wreck and the heat from the fire cracked the plate glass window.
Police were called to help with traffic flow around the incident and closed the High Street between the Post Office and Taylor Pharmacy while fire crews were on scene.
An ambulance also attended, but was not required.
The two shops either side of the children’s outfitters were affected by the fire.
Asher’s Bakery was forced to close for the day due to smoke damage, and one employee at Our Essentials had to evacuate the premises.
The shop assistant said: “I just ran. I had to leave the shop because the smoke was coming through the ceiling. We had lots of smoke damage and you could smell it.”
A joint police and fire investigation is now underway in an attempt to establish the cause of the fire.
Buckie community council secretary Steve Thornton owns a trophy shop on the High Street and said it was a major blow for the town and urged locals to help the business get back on its feet.
Speaking at the scene, he said: “It’s a real shame. We are trying to encourage people to buy local and losing a business like this is awful.
“There are four shops on the High Street that are empty. We need a children’s clothes shop in Buckie — they are few and far between.
“I think the community should rally around them and help them get back on their feet. Even if it’s just helping them clean up, we have to do something.”
Buckie councillor Gordon McDonald echoed Mr Thornton’s call for the community to get behind the business.
He said: “The family who have the shop are well-respected in the town. I’m sure everybody will do their best to see how they can help out.
“I hope they can manage to pull everything together, and if there’s anything at all we can do to help we will do our best.”