GALT -- Since 1976, Dees Meats in Galt has been serving the community.
"We're just a local butcher shop that makes their own stuff," said co-owner Erien Dees.
Dees says her family was heartbroken after watching flames destroy her grandfather's life's work Wednesday afternoon.
"My grandfather had started this years, years ago and now it's just grown so much that it means the world to him," Dees told FOX40. "And he's very saddened that this has happened and he's put in so much hard work and it's gone."
Dees rushed to the family shop after the fire started with people still inside.
"I walked in the back to check on the smokehouse and everything was OK," said meat cutter Michael Porter. "I stepped back about 10 feet and then that's when the fire started right in front of me. The door blew open."
Porter, who has worked at Dees for the last seven years, said everyone was able to make it out safely as the fire quickly spread.
"It was about 15 minutes and the whole building was already up in the flames," Porter said.
All they could do was helplessly watch as firefighters put out the flames.
"It was visible to see some flames," Porter said. "Most of it was a lot of smoke, real heavy, dark smoke. A lot of popping noises from all the machinery inside."
Forty-three years of business was reduced down to charred appliances and piles of debris. The future of Dees Meats is now unknown.
"It's a total loss," Dees said. "There's nothing that could be really saved in there. A lot of smoke damage mainly but it's ... it's gone. There's nothing really to be saved."
The family is uncertain if they'll be able to rebuild. But they tell FOX40 the outpouring of support from the community is helping them through this difficult time.
"It's just so unbelievable on how much this community loves us and are willing to help us in any way possible," Dees told FOX40.
The Dees family is waiting to hear back from the Consumnes Fire Department to learn what caused the blaze.