An on-call firefighter has revealed how he helped battle the huge blaze which destroyed a former town centre nightclub during his first call-out.

Nigel Hilliar officially joined Marlborough Fire Station as an on-call firefighter on March 6.

Just days into his new role, he and his colleagues were called to an inferno at the former Broadwalk nightclub, on Bridge Street, in Swindon town centre.

The crew had been expecting a quieter night when they reported for standby duties at a Swindon fire station but were forced into action when the call for assistance came through.

“Initially we were called out for standby cover… so you think you’re just going to go and sit in another fire station”, said Nigel.

“We were halfway there when they called because they needed more help.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Nigel recently joined Marlborough Fire Station.Nigel recently joined Marlborough Fire Station. (Image: Marlborough Fire Station)

“I was feeling lots of different emotions. It was exciting but I wouldn’t say I was nervous because I was with a crew of professionals, and you sort of just carry on and do what they ask you to.

“The crew guided me through it and the senior officers were very good and gave me supervision.”

Nigel’s crew were among the first responders to the incident, arriving soon after crews from Swindon at around 9.30pm, and fought the blaze until almost 3am in the morning when they were relieved.

In total Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue spent 12 hours trying to get the blaze under control, with 40 firefighters in attendance at one point.

The service confirmed that the fire was finally halted at 10.35am on Monday morning.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The charred remains of the Broadwalk abandoned pub/club in Swindon after a devastating fireThe charred remains of the Broadwalk abandoned pub/club in Swindon after a devastating fire (Image: Newsquest)

An investigation into the cause of the fire has now begun, although this was delayed as the damage to the building left it unsafe to enter.

Nigel is not the first member of his family to take up a role at Marlborough Fire Station.

His grandfather Dennis served with the Auxiliary Fire Station for 27 years after joining in 1939.

Nigel’s father Tony followed in Dennis’ footsteps, joining the Wiltshire Fire Brigade in 1963 and serving alongside his brothers, David and Peter, until his retirement in 1996.

He was awarded an MBE for services to the community.

Nigel told this paper he was proud to carry their legacy.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Nigel's father Tony.Nigel's father Tony. (Image: Marlborough Fire Station)

The 51-year-old added: “It’s in the family so it’s always been in my mind to join. I feel proud that I’m carrying on the tradition and helping the community.

“My father died a few years ago but my aunt and uncle are very proud of me and very happy I’ve carried it on.”