An early-morning fire has destroyed a family-run business in Woodstock, N.B.

Fire crews were called to the Sears furniture and appliance outlet around 4 a.m. Tuesday.

They said they could see flames reaching into the sky from kilometers away as they approached the scene.

“All you could see coming up the hill was just a big glow in the sky, basically, and the heavy smoke,” said Woodstock Fire Chief Rick Nicholson. “As I got closer, once again, I knew that we had a working fire in progress.”

Nicholson said the building was fully engulfed in flames when he arrived on the scene and he quickly determined his department would need help.

Fire departments from nearby Hartland and Debec answered the call, trucking thousands of litres of water to the scene as the Woodstock crew tackled  the stubborn fire.

“I don’t know how many thousands of gallons we put on this building, but…it is a total loss, a significant head load, due to the furniture, mattresses etcetera in the building,” says Nicholson.

It took crews more than three hours to control the flames, which destroyed the building.

“What remains right now is a smoldering, twisted and charred mess of mattress springs, appliances still standing where they were left last night and showroom displays,” said CTV’s Andy Campbell, who was at the scene.

The family that runs the business took it over about two years ago and employed five people.

A family member was on the scene and said the business would most likely be rebuilt.

Woodstockresident Janet Bulmer says she and her husband bought most of their appliances and furniture at the outlet.

“I’m just, I feel heart sick for them because I know, to run a business, it costs a lot. Financially, set up again, and get your clientele. It’s really a sad situation for them,” she says of the family that owns the business.

Investigators are working to determined what caused the fire.

“We are looking, you know, possible electrical,” says Nicholson. “We won’t rule nothing out until our investigation is complete.”

With files from CTV Atlantic's Andy Campbell