In an instant Jeff Brain’s life work went up in flames.

Fire ripped through Brain’s Taxidermy just before 8 p.m. on Thursday in Oro-Medonte. He was out for dinner and came home to find the business he start 30 years ago destroyed.

“You feel helpless, but what can you do. It’s out of your control,” he says. “November is actually my busiest time of year. Poor, poor timing.”

Brain’s neighbour first discovered the fire and attempted to put it out. Two people who just happened to be passing by also stopped to help. They were able to rescue Brain’s dog.

Heavy machinery was brought in on Friday to tear down the walls so investigators could search for the cause.

“The garage had power to it, so we are going to take hydro into account. They do use a lot of chemicals so we're going to take a look at where that is in location to the area of origin,” says Oro-Medonte fire prevention officer John Wigle.  

More than 100 products, including deer and bear projects for customers from across North America and Europe were inside the shop.

Investigators believe the fire caused about $600,000 in damage.

"We had a couple of deer skulls, but it’s not anywhere near important as Jeff’s livelihood. The fact that he lost everything is devastating," says Jeff Bloor.

The business is insured, but it will be a awhile before the full extent of the fire is realized.

“I just ask for some patience and time so I can sort through everything. I have lost a lot of information.”

Brain plans to rebuild right away and will spend the next few weeks notifying customers and finding a new location for his business.