THE owners of a successful local fuel firm have been left devastated after a blaze ripped through their premises and caused hundreds of thousands of pounds of damage.

Flames gutted a massive storage shed containing logs and woodchips at Caledonian Wood Fuels in Kilmacolm.

Fire crews rushed to the scene at South Craigmarloch on Port Glasgow Road late on Wednesday night and remained on the scene overnight and into yesterday.

Kate Wilson, who owns the firm with her husband Colin, said: "We are devastated.

"We've lost wood chips and logs and a very expensive shed and machinery.

"It's hundreds of thousands of pounds."

The shed was used to process logs into woodchips for biomass boilers and to dry and store logs for wood burners and domestic fires.

A woodfuel boiler is used to dry the logs.

Kate said the alarm was raised at around 6.30pm.

She told the Telegraph: "We live next to the site and we were just finishing our dinner.

"I was celebrating my 40th birthday and my brother-in-law Neil actually lives in the house down at the back and saw that the shed was on fire and told my husband Colin.

"It was like an inferno - the smoke was so thick and heavy.

"The police had to close the road for a while."

The family, including the couple's two sons, are still trying to take in what has happened.

Kate said: "I'm in shock.

"My husband works so hard, seven days a week and long hours.

"The children were terrified that the house would go on fire."

This is the second time fire has caused a major setback for the business, which employs eight people.

In 2014 another blaze caused chaos at their former site at Auchmountain in Kilmacolm due to alleged vandalism.

This prompted them to relocate at South Craigmarloch and build up the business again.

Kate said: "I don't know what the cause of this fire was.

"There was a lot of dry timber in there and it took hold quite quickly."

Councillor David Wilson, who saw the flames, says he went over with his wife Lorraine to offer his support.

He said: "It was an inferno, flames were working up into the sky, the windows had gone and I could see the flames coming through the roof.

"There were four fire appliances there and they took some water from a nearby burn.

"It was still smouldering the next morning.

"The business employs a large number of local men so this is very sad.

"It is a great loss and we hope that a new business can rise from the ashes."

Kate said: "David has been such a support ever since we started the business.

"It was very kind of him to come over and see us.

"He understands the nature of the business and being in a rural area."

Kate says she wants to reassure customers that as soon as it is feasible they will keep things going and continue.

Colin has contacted other wholesale suppliers to ensure all orders are met.

A Scottish Fire & Rescue Service spokesperson said: "We were alerted at 6.29pm on Wednesday November 18 to reports of a building fire in Kilmacolm.

"Operations control mobilised four appliances to Port Glasgow Road, where firefighters worked through the night to extinguish the fire.

"Crews left the scene after working to make the area safe.

"There were no casualties."