THE family that owns Studley Sawmills near Calne says it plans to repair the damage caused by Wednesday’s major fire and resume work as soon as possible.

A total of 13 fire crews battled the blaze at Vastern Timber at Studley just after 10am yesterday after it is believed the fire started in an extractor and spread to a storage unit.

As emergency services battled the blaze, plumes of dense black smoke spread across the countryside and nearby residents were asked to keep their windows closed.

Manager Tom Barnes said: “Early on May 13, a fire at the sawmill damaged a sawdust extraction unit and part of the roof of the manufacturing yard.

"The fire was quickly under control thanks to the rapid response of emergency services and no-one was hurt during the incident.

“We have thanked the firefighters and we appreciate that this has caused disruption to our local community and we thank them for their support. We are determined to repair the fire damage and get back to work safely as soon as we can.

“We’ve temporarily closed our showroom and implemented social distancing to tackle Covid-19. The fire at our Studley sawmill is unfortunately another business disruption.

“Thankfully the fire has had no impact on our stock or machinery but it means that we have to close the Studley sawmill for a week or two.

"Our Wootton Bassett sawmill is unaffected, and we are able to fulfil orders from this site."

Tom is the fourth generation of the Barnes family to manage Vastern Timber, which operates from two sawmills at Studley and Royal Wootton Bassett.

The family-owned firm specialises in processing British-grown hardwoods and softwoods for use in the construction industry.

The company has been cutting British and European hardwood logs for over 120 years to produce oak beams, timber cladding and hardwood flooring. It also cuts and dries sawn planks ideal for furniture-making and joinery.

Mr Barnes added: “I’m an optimist and determined that our business of producing beautiful British timber will continue despite any setbacks.

“This company was established by my great grandfather in 1904 and I’m sure it will continue for many generations to come. We are passionate about using locally-grown wood to make beautiful buildings and committed to continue delivering timber for our customers.”

The Royal Wootton Bassett showroom remains closed to the public, but accepts orders by phone or email. More information at