The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are investigating a fire that tore through a commercial building in Duncan early Saturday morning.
Emergency crews were called to the building in the 5000-block of York Street just before 1 a.m. The building includes the Good Neighbour Thrift Store.
“The building, containing multiple businesses, was completely engulfed in flames,” said Mounties in a release Saturday.
Residents are now being asked to avoid the area as crews probe the wreckage.
“Based on the suspicious nature of the fire, investigators launched a criminal investigation,” said RCMP.
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The Vancouver Island District RCMP Forensic Identification Services and a fire inspector with the Municipality of North Cowichan are investigating the scene.
CHEK News has reached out to the North Cowichan Fire Department and Duncan Fire Department for further details.
“We are requesting the public avoid the area as the investigation is ongoing and surrounding roadways are cordoned off,” said Staff Sgt. Ken Beard of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP in a statement Saturday.
Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522.