THE owner of one of Swindon's oldest businesses has praised the fire service for tackling the blaze at his family-run firm.

Deacon & Son Jeweller in Wood Street suffered a huge blow following the blaze.

Its gift shop will be closed until further notice due to the damage.

It is believed that the fire was started when a CCTV monitor blew up inside the Old Town shop, which was established in 1848.

Five fire crews from Swindon, Stratton, Westlea, Royal Wootton Bassett and Chippenham were called at 7.46am following a report from one of the Deacon's staff members.

Richard Deacon, the managing director and also the fifth generation Deacon to run the company, said: “It was a dramatic start to the morning to say the least.

"Fortunately no-one was hurt, and the fire was contained to the first floor near the rear entrance. I’m not sure how long the gift shop will be closed as there is a lot of damage. The smell left from the smoke will be particularly hard to rectify.

“This is only the second time in 170 years that the fire brigade has been called to the shop.”

It’s too early to assess the damage to stock according to the MD who will wait for the insurance company assessor.

Mr Deacon added: “I must extend my thanks to the fire services. They did a fantastic job preventing more damage."

Neighbouring businesses have been wishing them well and offering support.

Louise Fields and her daughter Kyra realised something was wrong when multiple fire engines rushed past their cafe Gustoso.

She said: “We ran on to Wood Street to check the area to make sure everyone was okay.

“It’s devastating to see and I do not wish that upon anyone.

“The loss of stock, damage to the property and the impact this has to staff is never nice for anyone. I’m just glad no-one was hurt, and I wish the owners well.

Mia Thurtell, 23, a barista at Balula’s in Wood Street next door to the jewellers arrived to work at see two fire appliances.

She said: “At first I could smell a strong chemical odour, so I went to have a look and that’s when I saw smoke billowing from the gift shop entrance.

“It’s a real shame to see such a long-standing company go down in that way. I feel really sorry for the situation they are in.”

The main part of Deacons is open. Anyone wanting the gift shop is being asked to go through the main entrance.