A massive blaze destroyed a home on Highway 18, just north of Duncan, early Thursday morning.
More than 40 firefighters from three departments spent six hours putting out the blaze, which also destroyed three vehicles that were parked next to the home.
The home was estimated to be approximately 100 years old.
No one was home at the time, and neighbours told media at the scene that the single dad who lives here with his three children was away at the time of the fire receiving medical treatment in Vancouver.
The RCMP are treating the fire as suspicious, and the family’s shed was burned to the ground just last week.
Chief Scott Henning, from North Cowichan’s South End fire department, said the cause of the fire has yet to be determined and an investigation is underway.
He said a number of explosions occurred while firefighters were battling the blaze that were the result of small propane tanks and small appliances blowing up from the heat from the fire.
“The house was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived (shortly after 2 a.m.),” Henning said.