The home of North Cowichan councillor Joyce Behnsen burned to the ground Thursday afternoon.
Behnsen was at home at the time but she was unhurt in the fire, which fully engulfed the house, located off of Highway 18.
But she did lose two pets, believed to be a dog and cat, in the blaze.
Scott Henning, chief at North Cowichan’s South End fire hall, said firefighters from his hall and the Duncan and Sahtlam fire departments took more than four hours to extinguish the blaze.
“We had an excavator in overnight to tear down what remained of the house because it was unsafe for firefighters to enter it,” he said.
“The cause of the fire is under investigation and is currently undetermined, but it appears to have started in the garage section of the building.”
Behnsen couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
North Cowichan Mayor Jon Leferbure said he hasn’t had contact with Behnsen as of Friday morning as she lost her cell phone in the fire, but has learned that she is in “good condition” and already has a place to stay for the time being.
“Joyce has a strong support system in the community, but I imagine she is very sad over the loss of her pets,” he said.
“We wish her best wishes at this time.”
Crews from at least three fire halls in the Cowichan Valley responded to a devastating house fire at the home of North Cowichan councillor Joyce Behnsen off Highway 18 on Thursday afternoon. They remained on scene as of 5:15 pm.
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