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UPDATE: All animals reported OK after Lake Cowichan firefighters called to blaze at animal refuge

A site, made famous 10 years ago when it housed a tiger, is the victim of a fire April 22.
A fire at a wild animal refuge on Cowichan Lake Road April 22 saw Lake Cowichan’s fire department call for an extra pumper from Youbou. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

No injuries of either humans or animals were reported after a major fire Saturday morning at a wild animal refuge on Cowichan Lake Road.

The residence at the site, made famous 10 years ago when the owner was housing a tiger on her land, burned completely to the ground, but the barn and holding pens where the animals were held was undamaged, according to Lake Cowichan fire chief Doug Knott.

It’s believed the residence was unoccupied when the fire began.

“It was the lady who lived next door that reported it,” Knott said.

“The house was fully engulfed and had to be taken down for safety reasons once we had the fire out. The RCMP are investigating the cause of the fire.”

The Lake Cowichan fire department was joined by a pumper truck from the Youbou department as there are no fire hydrants near the rural site, which is located east of the town of Lake Cowichan, about halfway to Skutz Falls.