A New Year's Day fire destroyed seven businesses in downtown Moose Jaw.

Firefighters fought all day in freezing temperatures, trying to contain flames which at one point threatened to burn out of control in the Saskatchewan city.

There were no reports of injuries, but dozens of residents living nearby had to leave their homes as a safety precaution.

The fire destroyed two historic buildings in the city; the old Joyners building and the Chow building.

Moose Jaw Mayor Al Schwinghammer says it's a major blow to a city that has prided itself on the development of its heritage sites.