Fire has destroyed a community landmark in the small town of Carnarvon, east of Bracebridge.

The flames broke out at the Carnarvon Bowl at around 5:30 p.m. this afternoon, and in a short time were shooting into the sky from the building.

Minden Hills Fire Chief Doug Schell tells CTV News that 40 to 50 firefighters from four local fire departments were called in to help.

Flames were still visible in portions of the damaged building as of 9:30 p.m., and crews were expecting to be on into the overnight period.

Schell says the building will be a total loss.

Carol Moffatt, the Reeve of nearby Algonquin Highlands, says the fire is a “huge loss” for the community.

Originally known as Medley’s Dance ‘N Bowl, the business dates back to the 1940s, and has been a fixture for countless community fundraisers in the area.

“This was an iconic building,” Moffat told CTV News.  “At one point in its past, it was a popular dance hall which was known to have the best hardwood dancing floor in Haliburton County”.

Moffat says her own parents danced in the building when they were teenagers, and says the building held years of fond memories.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, and fire investigators have not been able to get inside the building at this time.

Stay with CTV News for more information.