Gordon Arms owner Susan Cree has pledged the historic Yarrow Valley hotel will be rebuilt following Tuesday’s devastating fire.
The alarm was raised at the former coaching inn shortly after 2pm when a shepherd spotted smoke and alerted lunchtime diners.
Firefighters from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service stations at Selkirk, Innerleithen, Galashiels, Moffat and even Edinburgh were all involved in tackling the blaze which is believed to have started in the roof of the 200-year-old property near St Mary’s Loch.
No one was injured, but the roof and upstairs floor of the building are destroyed, and there is water damage to the downstairs areas.
Fire crews remained on site overnight and well into Wednesday, ensuring any remaining hotspots were damped down. Fire service investigators have also been combing the building for clues as to the cause.
But the extensive damage means the hotel, which also houses the Big Sky recording studios run by Ms Cree’s partner, Borders musician Tom Roseburgh, has been forced to cancel some forthcoming music events.
“Luckily, we only had some people in eating on Tuesday – we didn’t have any guests staying,” said Ms Cree, who took over the hotel along with Mr Roseburgh and another well-known musician, Malcolm ‘Shankend Mac’ McEwan, just three years ago.
Mr McEwan retired from the business last year and the hotel is now run solely by Ms Cree and Mr Roseburgh, who was travelling back from Germany yesterday.
“The bar and kitchen don’t seem too badly damaged, but the upstairs is gone,” said Ms Cree yesterday morning as she watched firefighters finishing up.
However, she says she and Mr Roseburgh are determined to restore the hotel – “We’ve worked really hard over the last three years, so it’s heart-breaking to see this. But we will rebuild it.”
Among comments on the hotel’s Facebook page was one from Megan Gordan: “All the people in Yarrow and Ettrick are thinking of you and wishing you well.” And from South of Scotland MSP and former Yarrow farmer Jim Hume: “Glad nobody hurt. Look forward to seeing the Gordon open for business. Thoughts with all.”
z See video of firefighters tackling the blaze at www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk