A women's shelter in northeastern Saskatchewan that was years in the making went up in flames on Sunday, destroying it before it even had the chance to be completed.

The building would have been home to the Northeast Outreach and Support Services Women's Shelter, a safe haven for victims of violence and sexual assault.

The building was 80 per cent complete, but a fire that started around 5 a.m. Sunday destroyed everything.

Crews were there from dawn until dusk fighting the fire, even in -20 degree temperatures or colder.

No word yet on the cause of the fire. The mayor of Melfort has called the fire’s destruction “devastating."

Building the shelter was a community effort. Local businesses, as well as the federal and provincial government, had contributed funds.