North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP Investigate Suspicious Fire in Duncan Commercial Area
North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are currently investigating a suspicious fire that broke out in the commercial district of Duncan during the early hours of Saturday morning.
The incident occurred just before 1 a.m. on February 10th when emergency responders received reports of a structure fire at the Good Neighbours Thrift Store located in the 5000 block of York Street in Duncan.
Upon arrival, authorities found the building, which housed multiple businesses, engulfed in flames. Thankfully, occupants from neighboring properties were safely evacuated from the area.
A total of 46 firefighters from all four of the department’s stations responded to the scene.
Upon arrival, they were met with flames breaking through the building’s front windows, leading them to adopt a defensive approach in battling the blaze.
Fortunately, no injuries were reported as a result of the incident.
Given the suspicious circumstances surrounding the fire, investigators have launched a criminal investigation into the matter. The Vancouver Island District RCMP Forensic Identification Services (FIS) and the Fire Inspector from the Municipality of North Cowichan are actively involved in the investigation, with scene security being maintained.
Reports have surfaced indicating that a witness captured video footage showing an individual attempting to ignite a bottle in the vicinity shortly after midnight. Allegedly, the individual then threw the bottle through the window of the business. However, these claims have yet to be confirmed by the RCMP.
Additionally, later on Saturday, photos and videos began circulating online, showing a second fire where a vehicle was completely engulfed in flames in the parking lot of Cowichan Bay Superstore.
The investigation into both incidents remains ongoing as authorities work to determine the cause and circumstances surrounding the fires.
Anyone with information in relation to this incident is ask to contact the North Cowichan Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522.