A seafood packing plant in New Brunswick has been destroyed by fire.
RCMP responded to the blaze at around 2:30 a.m. at the Paturel International Company building on Northern Harbour Road in Deer Island.
According to police, the fire was discovered by employees and all the people inside the building were able to escape safely.
The warehouse and the packing plant, however, were destroyed by the fire.
Provincial Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet says the fire at the plant, which employs about 100 people, is a major blow to the area.
“This time of the year they’re extremely busy and they have a lot of employees who are working,” he said. “They’re processing lobster from Maine at this point in time and they’ve been having a very good season.”
The plant ships whole lobster and lobster products around the world.
Doucet said the company plays a major role in the seafood industry.
“This company has been very innovative in securing markets in the European Union and the Asian markets,” he said. “Hopefully, they’re going to be looking at rebuilding. It’s devastating for them to have such a huge loss, but I hope everybody will rise above on this.”
The company’s live lobster facility was not affected by the fire and will resume normal production, the company said.
However, the lobster processing that was handled in the burned building will be moved to one of the company’s 12 facilities across North America.
Company officials issued a statement saying they were grateful no one was hurt.
“We would like to thank the first responders for their bravery and quick response. We would also like to thank the local community and our customers for their support and understanding during this time.”
RCMP remain on the scene on Thursday afternoon with fire crews and investigators from the New Brunswick Fire Marshal’s Office.
The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.
With files from The Canadian Press