A blaze tore through six cottages and damaged two others at a camping resort northwest of Winnipeg on Saturday.

When Calvin Saedel arrived at Chesley’s Family Resort in Petersfield, a blaze was already well underway and moving towards his cabin. All he could do was watch as it engulfed his summer getaway.

“It's still hard to accept,” he said. “It's devastating, it's such an incredibly helpless feeling.”

Six cottages are a total writeoff and two others took minor damage. Grace Tesoro's cabin was one of them.

“It's pretty nerve-wracking, I'm shaking inside actually,” he said.

Fire officials believe the fire started because of an electrical problem in one of the centre cabins and quickly spread to the others.

The flames reached as high as some trees, witnesses said. The fire knocked out power and cut off the resort's water supply, which didn't make the situation any easier.

Cottagers at Chesley’s Resort said volunteer fire crews from surrounding areas worked quickly to put out the blaze.

“There were other people trying to use hoses to get it down,” Mark Troschuk.

With the close proximity of the cabins, Darren James knows things could be worse. “If it had been a very windy day, it probably would have been a different story, because it could have taken out many, many more,” he said.

People in the tight-knit camping area are pulling together, thankful no one was hurt. Still, the loss of six summer havens is tough to swallow.

“It's a big deal, it's their cottage effectively,” said Darren James, whose cabin was damaged by the fire.“It might not look like much to some, but people come up here and it's well used.”

This may an abrupt end to summer for Calvin Saedal, but he vows to come back. “We'll be alright. It's a little hard to take right now, but we'll be back. We'll rebuild in some form or another.”

Fire officials have not yet added up the damage estimates for the blaze.

- With a report by Jeff Keele