Duncan police investigate suspicious fire

The North Cowichan Duncan RCMP says it is investigating a suspicious fire in a commercial area.

Officers responded to a report of a structure fire on York Road near Alexander Street in Duncan just before 1 a.m. Saturday.

The building, which contains multiple businesses, was engulfed in flames when crews arrived.

The RCMP says it has launched a criminal investigation, together with the Vancouver Island District RCMP Forensic Identification Services and the fire inspector with Municipality of North Cowichan.

People from neighbouring properties were safely evacuated, and police say the fire scene is secure.

Sergeant Ken Beard of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP is requesting the public to avoid the area as the investigation is ongoing and surrounding roadways are sealed off.

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