One of the oldest buildings in Hampton, which housed a Pizza Delight, was destroyed by fire this morning.

The three-storey red brick building caught fire shortly before 1 a.m. 

"It's a sad day for Hampton. We're going to miss the building on the corner … but nobody was hurt. And you can replace a building but you can't replace a life," said town councillor Dwight Bond.

Hampton deputy fire chief Mike Raeburn says the main fire was in the restaurant area of the building. Crews battled it for two hours before it spread to the floor above and crews had to evacuate.

Hampton deputy fire chief Mike Raeburn

Deputy chief Mike Raeburn says the building will be missed. (Roger Cosman/CBC)

"It being an older building, it had been renovated many a time. So there was false walls, false ceilings. Being a brick building it's a challenge, especially once we had to go exterior," he said.

"It's a cornerstone building of Hampton. It's been here forever," said Raeburn.

Several fire departments were called to help after crews evacuated, including a ladder truck from the Kennebecasis Valley department.

Raeburn said after the fire was out, the walls had to be torn down because they were at risk of collapsing onto the roadway.

Red Cross on scene

In a statement released on Friday, the Canadian Red Cross said 11 adults were temporarily displaced by the blaze. 

Spokesperson Dan Bedell said the organization helped a young couple from one unit and one tenant from the other with emergency accommodations, clothing, food and other essentials.

"Similar help was given to seven adults evacuated from a former hotel now converted to apartments directly across the street.  However, those tenants are expected to be allowed to return to their apartments shortly, " Bedell stated.

The building, which is located on Railway Crescent, also had a pub on an upper floor.

Confederation building

According to Hampton historian David Kierstead, the building was built in 1881 by Thomas Gilbert Barnes and stayed in the Barnes family for decades.

It housed a number of different stores and restaurants and a police station over the years.

"[It's a building] that dates from the time of Canadian confederation and the optimism and the growth that was happening in the community at that time," said Chris White, Director of the Kings County Museum.

"So to have a building of that significance disappear from the landscape is really a hardship, and will be difficult to adjust to."