A fish plant in Tangier has been destroyed by a fire just one week before Christmas.
It's not known if the plant was operating at the time, but people inside the building when the blaze broke out called 911 just before noon on Wednesday. There are no reported injuries.
Assistant Chief with Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency, Corey Beals, said when crews arrived, the main building was heavily engulfed in flames.
"Crews went into defensive mode and tried to get fire control but weren't able to get fire control due to the size of the structure," he explained. "That building collapsed. It was a total loss."
He described the building as a 70-year-old wooden construction with a tin roof.
"When that collapse took place, it created a pancake situation where the roof collapsed onto the body of the structure and everything under that tin roof is still on fire," Beals said.
An excavator has been brought in to remove the roof so firefighters can continue to extinguish the flames.
The fire has also spread to some adjacent buildings, but Beals wasn't sure what the status was of those structures.
A mix of career and volunteer firefighters came from as far away as Chezzetcook and Sheet Harbour to respond to the call in the rural section of HRM almost a half hour east of Clam Harbour Provincial Park.
"The Eastern Shore is one of our most remote areas and it's always a challenge for us to assemble sufficient crews to fight fires out in those areas ... in this particular case we had a good turnout of crews there and we're doing the best we can with the resources we have given the circumstances," Beals said.
Investigators are already on scene waiting for the fire to be put out before they can start looking into a possible cause.
"That could be a prolonged event for them due to the large property area that we're dealing with," Beals said. "And of course we had significant fire loss, so that will complicate the investigation."
He added, although nobody was hurt, it's difficult to see a fire this destructive at this time of year and he expects this to have a major impact on the community.
"People's jobs are now at risk because of this," he said. "It's a sad day on the Eastern Shore."