Firefighters work on the balcony of a burned out unit at the Lewis Apartments in the 2500-block of Lewis Street Thursday afternoon. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Investigation continues into fatal apartment fire in Duncan

There is no indication of any illegal drugs/activity that may have been the cause of the blaze

The investigation is continuing into the cause of an apartment fire in Duncan on New Year’s Eve.

On the afternoon of Dec. 31, 2020, a devastating fire tore through the Lewis Apartments, killing one and injuring several others.

“The North Cowichan Duncan RCMP is working closely with our partners at the North Cowichan Fire Department and the BC Coroners Service,” said Staff Sgt. Kurt Bosnell of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP. “At this point we have not been able to determine the source of the fire and whether or not it is suspicious until those determinations are made, the RCMP will remain engaged.”

Authorities say they will not be identifying the person who died in the blaze.

There had been speculation in the community that a meth lab was involved in the fire, however, RCMP say there is no evidence of that to date.

“While the cause of the fire has yet to be confirmed, at this point there is no indication of any illegal drugs/activity that may have been the cause of the blaze, that is believed to have started on the fourth floor,” a Jan. 2 press release states.

“The scene remains inaccessible as the investigation continues.”

Residents were accommodated in hotels following the fire.

RCMP