Firefighters are battling a blaze that has caused significant damage to a historical building north of Pickering.

The fire broke out inside Regency Coffee Co., a small tea and coffee shop with attached living quarters, in the hamlet of Whitevale at about 7 a.m.

A neighbour noticed some light in one of the windows of the building at 480 Whitevale Rd. and called 911, said Gord Ferguson, deputy chief of Pickering Fire Services.

Crews arrived to find a fire inside the residence, which was under renovation.

No one was inside at the time. The building is an old general store.

A damage estimate wasn't immediately available and the cause of the blaze is unknown.

Firefighters from nearby Ajax and Stouffville were asked to bring in water tankers because the water supply is limited in the area.