A blaze has ripped through Apollo Bay overnight, which has seen a motel evacuated as well as shops in ruins.

Emergency crews attended the scene on Collingwood Street around 3.17am where a restaurant fire had broken out. It took just over three hours to get under control.

A CFA spokesperson said, “two shops have been destroyed and a third shop was fully involved.”

The Blue Bird Fish and Chips store and the Chinese restaurant next door were the shops that were impacted by the incident.

Apollo Bay is known as a popular tourist town and many people have expressed their sadness over the news.

“So sad. End of an era. So many great memories of The Bluebird,” one customer wrote on Facebook.

“This is truly devastating and heartbreaking to see. My sincere thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved including those businesses affected,” another added.

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