A popular bed and breakfast at the Apex Mountain Resort in the B.C. Interior was heavily damaged by fire Tuesday morning.

Ski resort General Manager James Shalman told ctvbc.ca the blaze broke out at the Saddleback Lodge, about 30 minutes west of Penticton, around 3 a.m. Crews were still battling flames more than seven hours later.

Owner/operator Barb Davis alerted resort staff after realizing the main lodge was filling with smoke. No one was staying at the B+B at the time.

The fire spread quickly through the "L" shaped building, with flames bursting through the building's roof.

The temperature at Apex is minus 27, which Shalman said hampered firefighting efforts.

The cause of the fire is still not known.

The 10-room Saddleback Lodge was awarded "Best New Lodging" by Ski Canada Magazine shortly after its opening in 1998.

Shalman expects fire damage will prevent the lodge from opening this year. Alternate accommodations will be found on the hill for any guests with reservations for the lodge.

While Apex doesn't officially open to the public until Dec. 3, more than 250 athletes from Canada, Australia, Japan and the U.S. are training on the hill.