A historic foundry in Sackville, N.B., burst into flames following two apparent explosions on Wednesday evening.

Police said they were unsure if anyone was inside the Enterprise Fawcett, which employs around 60 people, although they said it's unlikely given that the fire started in the evening.

Fire Chief Craig Bowser said the department was called around 6:30 p.m. after the two explosions were heard. He said he immediately called in help.

Firefighters from several nearby regions converged to fight the flames, which could be seen shooting 10 metres out of the top of the building, and police have cordoned off the area.

Police say they do not know what caused the explosion.

There is not much left to the historic building, which is owned by Enterprise Fawcett.

The Office of the Fire Marshal will be at the fire scene on Thursday trying to discover what caused the fire at the historic site.

The Enterprise Foundry dates back to 1852. It was rebuilt in 1908 after a devastating blaze.

Mathew Johnston said he considers the building as part of the town’s history.

"My grandfather, he worked here when he was my age. So it's a pretty big place for this town," he said.

Community loss

The loss was being felt immediately in the community.

Greg Hicks ran a small engine repair shop in the building and he said he lost everything in the fire.

"It's not very good, doesn't feel very good but there's nothing I can do about it," he said.

"I can't change it so ... [it’s a] shame and I don't have insurance either."

Hicks said his son, Jordan, said when they arrived to the fire, the flames were towering over the building.

"They were shooting right out of the building probably some of them 50 feet," he said.

The Enterprise Fawcett fire is the latest in a series of recent fires that have destroyed important local buildings in New Brunswick.

A one-storey building containing the municipal hall, fire station and RCMP offices in Rogersville were destroyed in a fire on Jan. 9.

Another fire destroyed the historic Inn on the Cove and Spa in Saint John.

As well, the Waterside Baptist Church, which is near Riverside-Albert, was destroyed by a fire after being hit by lightning on Jan. 13.