Visitors to Loch Tay watched aghast as the heart of the Taymouth Marina holiday complex on the shoreline was engulfed in flames on Monday afternoon.
Smoke could be seen billowing over the length of the loch as more than 25 firefighters and at least nine emergency vehicles battled to bring the blaze under control.
Emergency services were alerted shortly before noon. Although an ambulance attended, nobody was hurt in the fire, which ripped through the complex’s restaurant and reception building.
A spokesperson from Taymouth Marina said the business – which includes a number of self-catering cottages on the slope of a hill, which were unaffected – was open for business and “guests will not be impacted.”
It is the second serious fire in the area in and around Aberfeldy in the last fortnight.
Three fire engines, including an aerial tender, and an incident control centre were deployed directly next to the fire. A further three engines were parked along the lochside in the neighbouring historical village of Kenmore.
Angus McKay, marina general manager, said: “Everybody is safe and that is the main thing. There’s nothing else to add at this stage.”
One family, who had been unable to return to their accommodation, said: “We were taking a walk and noticed the smoke at just before 12 o’clock. It seemed to take a long time for the fire brigade to arrive.
“I feel for the owners – it must be devastating for them.”
Another witness, who had watched since the fire began, said: “It’s still so hot. You can hear the tiles popping and cracking. I’ve just watched the firemen getting ready to go into the building. It’s amazing what they do.
“Everybody is out and that’s the main thing. You can repair a building, but you can’t repair a person,” she added.
The neighbouring Scottish Crannog Centre shut for the day as firefighters used the facilities. Staff at the centre had laid out food and water for the emergency services as they worked to put out the fire.
Mike Benson, managing director, said the marina team were “friends of ours.”
“I just wish them all the best. We are devastated as they will be. We work closely together. Our hearts are with them,” he added.
A passing cyclist said: “We had just cycled over from Killin. That is someone’s livelihood and jobs going. It’s such a terrible shame.”
The entire Taymouth Marina complex includes a restaurant, reception, hotbox sauna and self-catering apartments.
A spokesperson thanked the fires service and local community for their support. She said the sauna and the self-catering apartments, on a different part of the site, were still open for business.
She said: “We are shocked and saddened by the fire that has ripped through our beautiful restaurant this morning.
“Thankfully everything is prepared for our guests who begin arriving today and we look forward to welcoming them, and the many hundreds of day visitors, who make their way to Taymouth Marina to enjoy the spectacular scenery each week.
“Thankfully the restaurant building is separate from the self-catering accommodation and the sauna so guests will not be impacted.”