ABOUT 400 custom-made surfboards were lost in a fire that engulfed two businesses in Noosa early yesterday.
The historic Classic Malibu surf shop and the neighbouring Coastal Dry Cleaners and Launderers were gutted by a fire that started about midnight.
Classic Malibu founder Peter White estimated that the fire had destroyed more than $250,000 worth of stock.
The shop and factory also housed a lifetime collection of surfing memorabilia, he said.
Every bit of floor space had been taken up with stock as the business prepared for the Noosa Festival of Surfing.
The business was one of the festival's sponsors.
Mr White said as well as the boards, Classic Malibu's retail store had boardies, wetsuits, board bags and t-shirts.
The fire reportedly has put 22 people out of jobs - nine at Classic Malibu and another 13 at Coastal.
For the past 15 years, Mr White and his wife Janet have driven from Sunshine Beach to the small factory on Eumundi Service Rd at Noosaville.
A big blue wave mural painted against the background of an orange sunrise marked the outside wall of the rented premises and told the story of their passion for surfing.
Yesterday the couple faced a mural darkened with soot and charred by fire.
"It is just horrific," Mrs White said.
"We have nowhere to go, nothing to do, we have no job.
"We live in a duplex so everything we had we kept there.
"One customer had flown in from England to pick up his custom-made surfboard today," Mrs White said.
"We were stacked to the roof and now there is not a skerrick left."
Mrs White, an accountant for the business, said she had emailed a supplier only a day ago to say little was needed.
"I told him we were stocked to the hilt."
Mrs White said Classic had been about to renegotiate their lease with the owner of the premises, Coastal Drycleaners and Launderers operators Ian and Carole McDonald. "But there were just a couple of very little things to be done.
"It all seems so small now - just quibbling over nothing."
Mrs White said the stock was insured. "But it won't cover everything - we have no income protection, so we have no income."
The Classic Malibu Facebook page has asked people to think of their two employees who are now out of work.
But the Whites also need employment.
Yet in the midst of devastation Mrs White thanked everyone for offers of help and calls.
"We will recover," she said.