The Tudor-style building at 1478 Maple Bay Rd. in Duncan, which housed a restaurant and a bed-and-breakfast, was gutted by a fire overnight Friday May 27/2016.
Maple Bay deputy fire chief Kelly Paddle said the inn was fully engulfed by flames shortly after the department arrived at 11:20 p.m. Friday.
Forty firefighters from Maple Bay and North Cowichan’s south end fire hall battled the blaze. Paddle said the fire was extinguished at 6 a.m. Saturday.
“The fire was in the roof, and it was completely engulfed 15 to 20 minutes later,” he said, noting the old timber and open-frame construction contributed to the speed with which the fire spread.
“No one was going inside due to the hazards of falling debris.”
There is little left of the building, as the fire department had to bring in an excavator to expose final hot spots Saturday morning, he said.
“It’s a big loss,” Paddle said. “That place has been around a long time and a lot of people have had their weddings and anniversaries celebrated there. It’s been a very important place to the community.”
Paddle said the cause of the blaze is under investigation, but it does not appear to be suspicious.
The inn, built in 1911 as a private home, was converted into a country inn after Archie and Sheila Owen bought it in 1969. It is now owned by a group of local businessmen.-