A massive fire ripped through Ballater’s historic railway station in the early hours of this morning.
A team of around 50 firefighters spent over three hours battling the blaze in the village’s Station Square.
The station, which was once used by members of the Royal family on visits to Balmoral Estate, has been badly affected by the fire.
Reports says the premises has been “90% destroyed” by the fire.
The building is home to a number of local businesses including Lucy’s Clothing, Amy Muir Photography, the Station Restaurant and the Ballater Information Centre.
Aboyne & Upper Deeside Councillor Geva Blackett told the Piper: “This is shocking news and my heart goes out to the businesses destroyed. Thank goodness no one has been hurt!
“I am meeting with Aberdeenshire Council’s Chief Executive, Jim Savege, on Friday and this will be high on the agenda as this council owned building is at the heart of Ballater’s economic and tourism activity and the repercussions will be felt throughout the area.”
The Station Restaurant is owned by Fiona and Nigel Franks, who also own the popular Darroch Learg Hotel in the Royal Deeside village. This morning’s fire is the second tragedy for the owners and for the Ballater community this year. The Darroch Learg suffered serious damage after a fire ripped through the hotel on February 20 2015.
Community stalwart and organiser of Ballater Victoria Week, Cat Scripps, said: “Everyone in Ballater is in a state of shock. This is a terrible loss to the village’s history and to all the thriving businesses that were contained within the station’s walls. This fantastic community also has a history of rallying round and rising up against the odds, so I’m sure something positive will come of this and the hard work will start to rebuild.”
Everyone in Ballater is in a state of shock.