The owners of Barrhead stables that were destroyed in a fierce fire have said losing their livelihood has left them "devastated."

Around £50,000 worth of damage was caused when Salterland Stables went up in flames last week.

A pony also died in the blaze, leaving its owner heartbroken.

Smoke and flames could be seen from miles around after the fire erupted in a barn used to store hay for animals at the site, off Salterland Road.

It quickly spread to the stables, with four fire engines responding to the emergency.

Ismail Baig, whose family owns the stables, told our sister title the Barrhead News: “We started this business from humble beginnings and worked hard to get where we were.

“I am trying to keep a positive mindset but there is so much damage and it is going to be hard to bounce back from it.

“Our family are completely in shock that this has happened. We have lost everything, our whole livelihood.

“Five stable blocks have been completely written off, as has the barn.”

Another member of the Baig family raised the alarm just after 11pm on Tuesday, May 4, after he spotted smoke billowing into the air.

Salterland Stables, which had been trading for a decade, had room for 30 horses.

All of the horses’ tack, including saddles, stirrups and reins which were stored in the stables, have been lost as a result of the fire.

Ismail, 25, said all of the animals were grazing in the paddock at the time of the blaze, except for a pet pony named Dilly, which sadly died of smoke inhalation.

He added that the aftermath of the fire has been a distressing experience for his whole family, including one member who is pregnant.

Their home, which is near the stables, was not damaged in the inferno.

Ismail added: “The CID are investigating. It is very difficult to prove who or what caused the fire.

“It is a vast property, with multiple entry points, and it was pitch dark at the time.”

Ismail said his family has now arranged night-time security patrols.

“The fire has been a massive blow to our business and caused utter chaos,” he added.

“We have spent a lot of money on improvements recently and are trying to salvage what we can.”

The family has set up a GoFundMe page in a bid to rebuild the stables and relaunch the business.

Ismail, who has urged anyone with information about the fire to contact the police, said: “The farm itself is a heritage site and has housed horses for a very long time.

“We are hoping that local people can help us repair the damage and get the stables up and running again.”

Anyone who would like to make a donation can do so by visiting and searching for ‘Save Our Horse Farm.’

Meanwhile, Megan Macnair, Dilly's owner, told the Barrhead News she hasn’t stopped crying since losing her much-loved pet.

The four-year-old Welsh pony had only been in Barrhead for a month and was getting used to her new home.

“Every horse owner and yard owner’s worst nightmare happened when the place went on fire,” said Megan.

“Dilly came off the Welsh mountains and she was pretty wild when I got her but she was doing so well, learning not to be scared of humans.

“I’ve lost my saddles, bridles, boots and brushes but, most importantly, I’ve lost Dilly.

“I’ve never felt pain like this.”

Megan bought Dilly as a companion for her six other horses, who she devotedly visits and takes care of each day at the farm.

Fortunately, they avoided the fire as they were outside the stables at the time.

“Dilly was a feral pony and that’s why she was in her stable,” Megan added.

“If it had been the night before, I would have lost all of my horses, as they were all in their stables.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has been working with Police Scotland to establish how the blaze started.

Jim McNeill, SFRS local senior officer for Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, said: “Sadly, one animal passed away.

“Our thoughts are with everyone affected.”

A police spokeswoman added: “Enquiries are continuing and the cause of the fire is still unexplained at this time.”

Anyone who has information is asked to call officers on 101.