TWO couples endured a heartbreaking end to their Christmas as they watched a major fire rip through their homes.

The blaze destroyed a top-floor flat in Gledstane Road, Bishopton, on Sunday night and has left the property below badly damaged.

Four fire engines were sent to deal with the flames as hundreds of villagers watched on in shock.

Firefighters are still trying to determine the cause of the blaze after managing to extinguish the flames at around 11pm but it has been confirmed that no-one was hurt.

The flat on the bottom floor belongs to well-known carpenter John McLaughlin, better known as ‘the Govan chair man.’

John, 84, has a workshop with more than 300 hand-crafted wooden chairs dedicated to people and places which have inspired him, including the likes of Billy Connolly and Sean Connery.

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On Monday, John’s son Michael hailed the efforts of firefighters who tackled the blaze.

He told The Gazette: “The couple upstairs came down to my parents after they lost their power and heard cracking noises above them.

“The fire has taken out two rooms in my parents’ flat but the fire service saved a substantial amount of my dad’s gear and I cannot praise them highly enough.”

John and his wife Janet were given a roof over their head by villager David Woodrow, who lives across the road.

David said: “The whole village saw it [the fire]. It’s got a typical old roof the building, so it spread very quickly.”

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “We were alerted at 8.33pm on Sunday to reports of a dwelling fire on Gledstane Road, Bishopton.

“Operations Control mobilised four appliances to the scene to extinguish the fire.

“There were no reported casualties.”