Herring smokehouse goes up in flames near Cap-Pelé

A family-run seafood business in Cap-Pelé is picking up the pieces after the herring smokehouse was half destroyed by fire Tuesday night, causing an estimated $1 million in damage.

Estimated $1M loss to family-run Ouellette Sea Products

Ouellette Sea Products herring smokehouse near Cap-Pelé was struck by fire on Tuesday night. 1:53

A family-run herring smokehouse near Cap-Pelé was half destroyed by fire on Tuesday night.

The losses at Ouellette Sea Products in Petit-Cap could be up to $1 million, said owner Debbie Duguay, who was up all night, even after the fire crews had left.

She is devastated, she said, noting she also lost her husband in a workplace accident at the site almost 15 years ago.

Duguay hopes to rebuild before the next season, which starts in August. It's her livelihood, she said.

She is waiting for her insurance company to do an assessment, she said.

Fire crews from three departments rushed to the scene at about 4:30 p.m, said Ronald Cormier, who was among them.

"We were about 40 firemen from Cap-Pelé, Haute Aboujagane and Port Elgin," said Cormier.

But the fire spread quickly, he said.

"The fish, it's always dripping … it's like a grease, everywhere, on the walls. So when the fire gets caught, it goes all in flame so fast, you can't control the fire."

An adjacent building was destroyed.

Crews remained on the scene until about 11 p.m.

A fire at Ouellette Sea Products near Cap-Pelé Tuesday night half destroyed the herring smokehouse. (Jennifer Choi/CBC)