The Maple Bay fire department was was called out shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday, after a fire engulfed one of the structures at the old Farmer Ben’s Eggs farm on Herd Road.
A firefighter from Maple Bay was the first to spot the blaze and called it in. Requests for mutual aid from North Cowichan’s South End and Crofton departments quickly followed.
RCMP were also called out to direct traffic, eventually blocking off Herd Road between Lakes Road and Osborne Bay Road.
A crew from the Chemainus Fire Department were called to standby at Crofton’s hall.
The structure was a barn that houses an unknown amount of chickens. By the time the first crews arrived the building was fully involved and had spread into the roof.
Following is a statement put out by Farmer Ben’s Eggs:
“On Sunday, Nov. 15 at approximately 9:10 p.m. we were notified by a passerby that there appeared to be a structure fire on the back of the property at 1820 Herd Rd. By the time fire crews arrived the barn was fully engulfed.
“Firefighters worked quickly to keep the fire from spreading to any other structures. The barn housed 8,800 layer hens and, unfortunately, we were unable to save them. As farmers we care deeply for our animals and losing them is devastating to us as a family.
“The family would like to thank: Cycle Electric, Maple Bay Fire Department, Crofton Fire Department, NC Fire Department, Chemainus Fire Department, BC Hydro, Mellor Mobile Mechanical & the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP for attending and assisting. Also like to say thank you to all the friends that reached out to offer kind words and offers of help. Please contact Jen Woike 250-709-5349 for any additional information.”