DEER ISLAND, N.B. -- A fire has destroyed a major lobster processing plant on Deer Island in southern New Brunswick that employs about 100 people.
Pictures and video posted to social media show a huge blaze early Thursday morning at the Paturel International facility on Northern Harbour Road.
RCMP say they received a report of the fire around 2:20 a.m. after it was discovered by employees.
"All people inside were able to leave the building unharmed, however the warehouse and packing plant were completely destroyed by the fire," Sgt. Chris Henderson said in a statement.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Provincial Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet said it's 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. They're processing lobster from Maine at this point in time and they've been having a very good season," he said.
The plant ships whole lobster and lobster products around the world, and Doucet said the company plays a major role in the industry.
"This company has been very innovative in securing markets in the European Union and the Asian market," 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."
Doucet said the provincial government will do whatever it can to help the employees and the company.
Company officials were not immediately available for comment.