HALIFAX -- Firefighters from a dozen area departments have extinguished a fire that has reduced a building belonging to a business in Hebbville, N.S. to charred rubble.

Capt. Arthur Brown of the Hebbville Volunteer Fire Department has told CTV News an alarm came in at 12:42 p.m. on Tuesday, alerting the department of a fire at a building at McCarthy’s Towing and Recovery Ltd. on Nova Scotia Trunk 3.

Nova Scotia RCMP closed Highway 3 at Nova Scotia Highway 103 to assist fire crews as they battled the blaze.

Neighbours say that they heard several loud bangs.

"There were several explosions," said Dennis Hynes, the chief of the Hebbville Fire Department. "It is an automotive service centre, so there is acetylene tanks, and everything, welding equipment, so of course them tanks, once they get heated, they’re going to pop."

Hynes says that the building was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived and that the fire was so intense that it melted the siding of a nearby home.

The chief said thanks to a lunch break, no one was in the building at the time of the blaze. The chief said they have no word on the cause.

Video from the scene shows the building is destroyed. The cause of the fire is under investigation.