Heritage building and local landmark destroyed in overnight fire
A devastating fire has destroyed a Cowichan Valley landmark.
Flames broke out late Friday night at the historic Quamichan Inn, and fire crews spent the night trying to stop it.
CHEK News viewer video shows the building on Maple Bay Road fully engulfed in flames.
The fire broke out just before 11:30 pm. All the guests and staff were able to get out without injury.
Eight fire trucks and about 40 fire fighters battled the blaze, but despite the best efforts of fire fighters, the building couldn’t be saved.
Crews worked through the night and by morning all that was left was rubble and just part of the outer shell of the heritage building.
It had been a popular Inn for almost 50 years. A staff member who helped get the guests out says it was scary how fast it spread after she first noticed a few flames on the roof.
“I noticed a few flames on the roof, ran inside and called 911, we got the customers and room guests out and five minutes later the place was engulfed in flames,” said Kristi Jones. “It’s pretty devastating.”
Linda Hansen lived in the former house before it was converted into a hotel and restaurant. She came to look at what was left Saturday morning.
“It’s very upsetting because there’s so many memories in that house,” she said. “So many Christmases, friends, parties, family. It’s part of my heart, part of my soul.”
No other buildings were damaged, but the inn is considered a total loss. Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the blaze.