Crews from three different stations raced to Stainforth in the early hours of yesterday morning after flames were spotted coming from the timber-framed Grade II listed building, which is said to date from 1570.
However, despite nearly three hours at the the scene attempting to save the historic building, it suffered extensive damage and is now likely to be pulled down.
The building, at the junction of Water Lane and Hall Road, has been used as commercial premises for a number of years, most recently as a vehicle repair business.
A spokesman for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We were called to a motor repair shop in Stainforth at 12:25am on Sunday.
“Firefighters from Thorne, Adwick and Doncaster stations attended the incident.
“The fire is believed to have been started deliberately. Crews came away at 3am.”
According to residents, a sign on the building suggests it dates from 1570.
The building was sealed off following the fire.
According to Historic England, it dates from the late 17th century which describes it as “an impressive, late-C17 timber-framed building that contains a significant proportion of its original fabric.
"The building is a rare survival of this building type in the area.”
Anyone with information about the fire can contact South Yorkshire Police on 101 or contact independent charity Crime Stoppers to report crime anonymously and in confidence on 0800 555 111.
Video: Thom Greatorex