THE threat of explosion from acetylene cylinders was the main risk to firefighters who tackled a garage blaze in Keith.
Over 30 firefighters were at the scene of the blaze at its peak on Tuesday morning.
The fire at the DC George Garage in Regent Street closed the main A96 through the town for over three hours.
Six appliances from Dufftown, Buckie, Keith, Rothes and Fochabers were joined by a height vehicle from Aberdeen, water carrier from Buckie and a mobile command control vehicle.
The fire broke out just before 9am and all the employees at the garage, around seven of them, escaped to safety unhurt.
Firefighters in breathing apparatus tackled the blaze which was under control inside an hour.
Nearby houses were unoccupied at the time.
Station Manager Shaun Burns, the incident commander, told ‘The Scot’: "The main concern was the acetylene cylinders and we continued to take steps to ensure that these were cooled. The garage has been severely damaged by the fire.
"There was at least one vehicle inside the garage at the time. Everybody working inside the garage got out safely and they have all been accounted for.
"We didn’t have to evacuate any houses as the houses closest to the fire were unoccupied at the time."
A nearby resident, who didn’t want to be named, said: "It was just after 9am when I heard loud bangs and when I went out of the house I could see flames leaping up."
The main A96 was set to re-open just before 1pm.