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Several buildings at Nygard Cay, including its famous multistorey tree house were discovered engulfed in flames.

Fire has destroyed much of Canadian fashion entrepreneur Peter Nygard's sprawling residential compound in the Bahamas, once so magnificent it was featured on such shows as Oprah and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous .

Firefighters were called to the designer's 14,000-square-metre Mayan-themed complex at Lyford Cay early Wednesday morning and found its famous multistorey tree house as well as several other buildings in the northern and southwestern part of the compound fully engulfed in flames.

Sharon Clarke, director of communications with Nygard International, said the damage was "substantial" but the cause of the blaze has yet to be determined.

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"[The site]still had hot spots on it. The main thing is nobody was hurt at all," she said. "Will he rebuild? Most likely, yes."

Mr. Nygard, who was not home on the private island at the time, could not be reached for comment.

But he likely won't have to go far to find a place to stay until he either rebuilds or buys something new. Ms. Clarke said Mr. Nygard's mother lives nearby in the first house he built in the Bahamas.

The multimillion-dollar complex, which was constructed over the past two decades, was located on two beaches, and featured three lit beach volleyball courts, a tennis court, a basketball court, a disco, three boats, a 24-seat movie theatre, a staff of 20, a grand dining hall and 25 cabanas, each equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, jacuzzi and outdoor shower.

"It was absolutely stunning," Ms. Clarke said, noting Mr. Nygard was planning to make some additions in the near future. The property is located in a gated community that has welcomed celebrities such as Sean Connery, Robert DeNiro and former U.S. president George H.W. Bush.

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