The village of Tantallon is mourning the loss of its hotel after it was destroyed by a fire early Thursday morning.

The Rocanville fire department told CTV News crews were called to the fire at the Valley View Hotel at around 2:20 am.

“I got dressed, rushed down here quick but it was up in flames. All the old part of the building was pretty engulfed,” owner Kyle Brule said.

He said he was woken by a call from a friend.

“What else could you do but watch?"He said.

There was no one inside the hotel at the time. Nothing remains but a smoldering heap, and it was still smoking, more than a day after it caught fire.

Tantallon is a village of about one hundred people and, for more than a century, the hotel was the heart of it.

“It’s been a landmark forever,” Mayor of Tantallon Jim Johnson said. “And it was a drawing card for a lot of people who would come home. Everyone from here…[whether] they would going away to school or to work, they always came home. And that's where you'd meet."

The hotel was the heart of the village’s social life and would host almost every event.

“Family events, funerals, you name it,” said Tantallon resident Daryl Godwin. “It was the place to get together. [It was the] same as any other small town, other than the rink.”

Johnston said that the hotel was also the economic engine of Tantallon. Now that it is gone he is concerned that the village won’t survive.

“If we can't rebuild and draw the people back in then we're going to lose everyone to different towns," he said.

“Small towns have a hard time surviving as it is,” Godwin said. “And without your gathering spot it's going to be very tough."

Brule said that he intends to rebuild.

For now, as the smoke still clears, he said he is very grateful to emergency services and the residents of Tantallon and surrounding area for their outreach.

“I got a lot of support. I’m getting calls every few minutes. People are getting a hold of me, seeing what they can do [to help],” he said.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.