The town of Lemberg is picking up the pieces after a fire burned the community’s hotel to the ground Monday night.

Owner of the Lemberg Hotel and Café Derek Yasinski says the loss is a shock.

“It was scary last night,” said Yasinski. “It was a very scary situation, it went extremely fast.”

Yasinski and his family lived in the building and were all able to escape unhurt, but their belongings and everything else in the hotel could not be saved.

Now the family is looking at rebuilding their lives.

“I just can’t believe it, it’s just unreal,” Yasinski told CTV Yorkton. “I just can’t believe how quickly something like that can happen.”

Yasinski was alerted when the building alarm went off shortly before 7 p.m. Monday.

The fire department was called and arrived on scene quickly, but it was already too late.

“We couldn’t get in at all,” Lemberg Fire Chief Dennis Dixon said. “Then there was a bit of flashover and it didn’t take long and then [the building] was fully engulfed in flame.”

The loss is monumental for residents of the small town and surrounding areas.

The hotel was built in 1963 and was a central part of life where everyone would gather for food, drinks, and laughs.

“Everybody in town has spent time in the Lemberg Hotel and Café for sure, so we’re going to miss them.”

“Really grateful that they’re all okay,” said Dave Tillusz, a hotel patron from nearby Neudorf. “That was my biggest concern. The hotel is just stuff. It’s going to be an impact on the community and the surrounding community too because people come from all over the area.”

Community spirit is strong in Lemberg as neighbours are already doing all they can to help, some even reaching out with offers of a place for the Yasinskis to stay.

“We can’t keep up with the messages and the people offering help,” Yasinski said. “Thanks to everybody.”

The Lemberg Fire Department says there will be an investigation into the cause of the fire.

Yasinski says he in his family hope to rebuild and remain in the town they love.

Based on a report by CTV Yorkton’s Nathaniel Dove