An early morning fire has destroyed a popular pub and dining establishment in Oyster River.

The call came in around 4:30 Friday morning and according to Fire Chief Bruce Green, "it came in as alarms ringing," but it was quickly determined to be a fully involved structure fire.

Green says when crews arrived they immediately verified that nobody was inside the Salmon Point Restaurant and Pub and began to fight the fire defensively with extra attention paid to the side that was facing nearby travel trailers.

The building is on property owned by the Salmon Point Resort.

More than 25 firefighters from Oyster River and Campbell River battled the blaze, which was quickly consuming the structure.

“Thankfully we have a good mutual aid agreement with our partners in Campbell River, they sent their tower truck down so we can get their aerial supply into the fire and they’ve also brought a tender," Green said.

The bar’s owner, who is coincidently a member of the Oyster River Fire Department, told CTV News there were discussions recently about having a reunion at the pub for its former employees.

He says the restaurant opened in 1982 and describes it as Campbell River’s oldest operating pub. 

He feels bad for his employees, who are now temporarily out of work.

Firefighters will have to extinguish the blaze before they can start to determine a cause.

“The big complication we’re having right now is the water that’s on the ground is freezing up and it’s causing a big slipping hazard for our firefighters,” Green said.