OWNERS of a gin distillery which went up in flames this week said they have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support – and have set up a makeshift office around their dining room table.

Cathy and Karl Mason, who run Masons Yorkshire Gin, were left devastated on Tuesday when a suspected explosion caused a large fire which gutted their factory in Aiskew, near Bedale.

The couple set up the company six years ago moved into the premises at the rear of the Spar garage on Bedale Road two years ago as the company won awards and grew.

They were alerted by staff at the site around 8am on Tuesday who had fled as fire and smoke engulfed the building after it is understood there was an explosion in or near one of the stills.

But Mrs Mason said it was business as usual and the firm was working hard to fulfil its orders.

She said: “We had contingency plans in place and have already arranged new offices, storage and another distillery has offered support so we can keep up with demand.

“The last 48 hours have been quite overwhelming – but the level of support we have been shown by the local community has been amazing.

“The amount of people that have offered help has been staggering, we have had hundreds of emails.

“When we first started out our offices were in Bedale Hall so we have gone back there, and we have organised a storage unit in the industrial estate in Leeming so we can still despatch from there.”

Mrs Mason said they were currently applying for their licenses so they start distilling again.

She said: "At least we are now familiar with what we need to do. When we first set up the business we didn't know how to go about everything."

She said seeing their premises go up in smoke had been heartbreaking.

"We are convinced that nothing will be salvaged from the fire. It was completely awful to see all of the hard work we have put in reduced to that.

"But we have to stay positive. Our customers have been amazing – not just our independent suppliers but our wholesale ones too. Our deadlines have been relaxed a bit and the help we have been offered means we will keep up with demand."

She added: "For the last two days we have been working from our dining room table at home which has been nice. Hopefully we will be distilling ourselves soon."