An Aberdeen shop devastated in a fire is set to reopen, with its owner praising customers for standing by him.
More than 50 firefighters spent six hours battling the blaze that gutted Rose Street Shoe Repairs in April last year.
Thousands of pounds of machinery, some of which was irreplaceable, and even six pairs of Louboutins were destroyed in the blaze.
Owner Gary Scott, who has been slowly rebuilding his business after being closed for the last nine months, said he thought someone was playing a prank when he heard about the fire – because it happened on April 1.
The 54-year-old said: “After the fire, I found it quite hard but thanks to the support of my friends and customers I’ve got through it and I’m now looking forward to getting back to work.
“It has been quite a long process.
“I think I received the keys back to the building after waiting on all the insurance work to pass on December 22.
“By that time, no one is really available to deliver goods so I had to wait.
“However, everything in the store is brand new including all the machinery, new L-shaped counter and new tools as they were all destroyed.”
Nine appliances from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, including one from Dundee, fought the blaze, which was started by an electrical fault.
Items destroyed included a family stitcher that was more than 150 years old and had belonged to his grandfather, as well as six pairs of Louboutins worth £339 a pair.
Gary added: “The machine that I had from my grandad is irreplaceable.
“There were only around 31 models made, so it is sad in that respect, but I’m hoping this new place is going to bring a lot more happy memories.
“I saw the woman who lost her shoes in the fire the other day and she just asked me when I was reopening as she had some more to put in.”
Despite Gary not being open yet, he has already found his first customer.
He said: “I was outside speaking to the bin men when a car stopped and it was a regular customer.
“He asked when I was open and then handed me a pair a shoes that he would collect next week. It will be great to be open again.”
The shop is set to reopen on Monday.
“Great to see local firm rise from ashes”, Page 24