NEW pictures show the extent of damage sustained to a car dealers in Malmesbury after a fire ripped through the building.
Five fire crews rushed to Hyams Autos in the high street at around 3am on Saturday to battle the blaze.
Concerned that the fire could involve flats above the car dealers, firefighters entered the flames in an attempt to rescue any people inside.
In photographs released by the garage, you can see how the building’s roof collapsed, causing significant damage to many vehicles with smashed windows, debris and rubble.
Hyams Autos have released a statement on Facebook today saying it was ‘heartbreaking’.
A spokesperson for the car dealers said although the damage is ‘extensive’ they have ‘high hopes’ of resuming vehicle sales within the next couple of days.
They said: “It was heartbreaking to get a call from the police at 3am saying there is a significant fire at the garage.
“It is what everyone dreads.
“You cannot imagine what it was like to make that journey.
“To be escorted by the police to the garage as the town was closed off and to be confronted with the absolutely devastating sight of multiple fire engines, police and firemen.
“On behalf of myself, the directors at Hyams Autos, all of the staff and my dear late mother, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the fire service and police who did a fantastic job of saving the building and containing the fire so that none of the adjoining properties were damaged.
“I would like to apologise to local residents for the noise and disruption caused, but also to thank them for the many, many kind messages of support and both help given and offered.
“I would like to thank all of my members of staff who came in during the weekend to see what they could do to help and in particular Chris Fox, who arrived at 6am on the Saturday to give me a hug of support along with his daughter Annalise.
“We have been blessed to receive support from our customers, locals, friends, family and even past employees (one who I hadn’t seen in 30 years).
“Thank you, it is greatly appreciated.
“Although as you can see the damage is extensive, we have high hopes of getting the car sales operation back up and running within the next couple of days, as our facilities at Brokenborough were unaffected.
“With regards to the workshop, again we hope to have this operating soon.
“We will of course continue to keep you updated when we have news and our usual phone number of 01666 822787 is in operation, so please do contact us if you have any queries.”
No one was reported injured in the incident.
Firefighters from Tetbury, Cirencester as well as Chippenham, Swindon and Corsham all attended the incident.
A fire investigation is ongoing.