LONDON, ONT. -- No one was hurt after a large shop caught fire Saturday morning in Malahide Township.

Crews were called to a shop southeast of Aylmer and when they arrived it was fully involved with heavy black smoke coming out.

Firefighters spent over an hour throwing water on what was left of the barn at 52499 John Wise Line.

"It looks like it took off pretty quick," says Randy Loewen, Malahide Township fire chief.

"We had a fire fighter drive by about a half-hour before we got the call, so it must have taken off quick."

Loewen says because no one was inside at the time of arrival, and because there was no high dollar value, firefighters went strictly on the defensive. They called in tankers from Bayham Township and hit it from all angles.

A man was working inside the shop when it caught fire. He managed to get out safely but he was pretty shaken up. Others who rent the shop space with him say they lost some vehicles and a motorcycle. The cars, oil and tires inside made it go up in flames very quickly.

One of the major difficulties in fighting a fire in the country is accessing water. OPP had John Wise Line closed between Carter Road and Anger Road to allow the pumper trucks to go back and forth.

"We have tankers going to Nova Scotia Line," added Loewen. "We've got five tankers pulling from Bayham and Malahide.

The strong winds from the south made it difficult. As soon as the firefighters put water on, the smoke would get heavy and the wind blew it down. There is no word yet on the cause, or the dollar value lost.

"As long as no one gets hurt it's a good day," says Loewen. "You lose a bit of property and you can always rebuild a barn, but you can't rebuild a life."