03/31/2016 01:26 EDT | Updated 04/04/2016 03:59 EDT

Nanaimo Fire Guts Several Businesses Downtown

The cause is under investigation.

NANAIMO, B.C. — A blaze that tore through a heritage building in Nanaimo, B.C., is being called a major loss for the Vancouver Island city.

"This is a key building for the downtown core,'' said city councillor and area business owner Jerry Hong.

"Everybody sees this building, and to lose this is tragic for downtown and all the businesses and residents of Nanaimo,'' he said.

Flames broke out at around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Acme Restaurant building, on Commercial Street at Terminal Avenue, at the southern entrance to the downtown district.

The restaurant was no longer operating but nine other businesses were affected, including an art gallery, a clothing store and an adult entertainment shop.

"Given the length of time, the amount of water and the fire that has been going on, that complex will probably be a loss,'' said Nanaimo emergency program manager Karen Lindsay.

No one was hurt and firefighters had controlled the flames by early Thursday morning.

A cause of the fire is under investigation. (CKWV)

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