The fire that devastated a Saanich business in early January is now being investigated as arson.
On Jan. 4 just after 6:30 a.m., Saanich fire and police departments were called to a fire at the rear of Island Outfitters, in the 3300-block of Douglas Street. The store was closed at the time of the fire and there were no injuries, however damage was “extensive,” according to Saanich police.
Once the fire was put out, crews stayed on scene to investigate the cause of the blaze. On Thursday, Saanich police announced that the fire was deliberately set and an arson investigation is underway.
Owners of the Saanich business shared photos of the damage online, revealing the gutted, charred remains of the hunting and fishing store after the melted inventory had been removed.
Owners said they are working to get the business back up and running and will still host charter fishing trips and annual fishing derbies.
On Facebook, the business owners lamented the loss.
“The past 25 years have been filled with so much love put into building Island Outfitters to make it what it is today,” they wrote in a Feb. 4 post. “We cannot express how devastating this fire has been to all involved.”
– With files from Devon Bidal.
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