There has been another major fire in our region - this one burned all night near Owen Sound and destroyed two businesses.

It's been a major blow to the community.

More than 14 hours after firefighters first arrived on the scene they were still pouring water onto hotspots as smoke billowed from the ruins of  two businesses and a home south of Owen Sound, near the community of Rockford.

Arlene Melanson lives next door. She saw flames going through the roof in the centre of the sprawling building around 8:30 p.m. yesterday.

“That's when the flames started shooting out there, above the offices I think, over this area here the flames were shooting out of there,” she says.

A total of eight local fire departments helped to fight the fire and shuttle water to the scene, but the inter-township fire chief says the flames spread quickly through building, which was originally a riding stable and then turned into an automotive repair shop.

“It had a lot of rooms and light frame construction,” says Inter-Township Fire Chief Carl Linthorne. “So it was an exterior attack and we were unable to contain the fire to a specific area and unfortunately most of the building was lost.”

Steve Jobin Truck and Auto Centre and Royal Towing were the two businesses at the location. More than 24 people are employed between the two businesses. An adjacent apartment was also destroyed by the fire. There were no injuries.

Investigators with the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office were at the scene today to begin looking for the cause.

Steve Jobin, the owner of the auto shop, isn't sure what insurance might cover at this point and planned to meet with staff later today

“Now I am seeing what's left of what I built,” he says. “It took five years to build this and not a damn thing left by the looks of it. I have a lot of people and employees that count on me so we are going to have to start over again.”

The value of the loss has not been determined, but it is considered substantial. Fire marshal investigators are continuing to look for the cause.