It was just after 8 o’clock on Wednesday morning that a neighbour’s knock on the door alerted the Costelo family to smoke coming from their backyard barn in Ingonish.

Within minutes, the building was engulfed.

"Our first thought was the animals, that's the worst part about all of this," said Shannon Costelo. "The barn can be rebuilt, but we lost all of our animals."

Inside, there were 18 to 20 adult goats, including three kid goats, and two horses, all perished in the fire.

Co-owner Ryan Costelo is also the community's fire chief and had to fight through his emotions to put out the flames.

"My husband Ryan did a lot of the farm part of the business," Shannon Costelo said. "He's just too emotional to talk right now. Also being a fire chief and put out the fire and kind of lead that was challenging for him, but he did it."

Costelo says the farm is a big part of the small community. 

The family business, which is called The Groovy Goat, was started in 2012. It included a petting zoo and they also sell handmade soaps and lotions made from goat's milk.

"It's just sad to see what took us so many years to what we have to be gone in about 10 minutes," Shannon Costelo said. "It's been a hard day."

Fire crews from Ingonish Beach and neighbouring Neils Harbour were on scene.  It's unclear at this point how it started.

The business is located along the Cabot Trail and is an attraction for tourists.

The Costelos say they have insurance, but not enough to rebuild, although they are hoping to.

"I've been trying to avoid social media today, just because it's upsetting, but when I did go on I've seen there's a tremendous about of support and it just makes us well up," Shannon Costelo said.

Costelo says there was one bright spot today. Their two cows were outside at the time of the fire and were unharmed.