Fire destroys tent at Saanich homeless camp, cause under investigation
A tent was destroyed after fire broke out in a tent at the Regina Park encampment in Saanich on Sunday. Sept. 2, 2018. (CTV Vancouver Island)
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Tuesday, September 4, 2018 10:50AM PDT
A tent was destroyed after fire broke out in a tent at the Regina Park encampment in Saanich on Sunday.
Saanich Fire says the blaze broke out around noon and was starting to burn an adjacent tent and tarps.
By the time crews arrived, tent city residents doused the flames. A representative of the camp says it proves that claims the encampment is a fire hazard are wrong.
"Their fear that tent city would burn to the ground with one catastrophic tent fire, this sort of leads to show that our community is able to, with the very limited training that we have, be able to contain a fire," said Chrissy Brett.
Fire officials say it was lucky the fire was spotted quickly, as it could have been much worse if it happened at night.
They've been working with residents of the encampment since early June to get compliance on a fire safety order.
Among the concerns in the safety order is smoking in tents or storing flammable items inside tents.
"We do have some concerns with respect to the fire risk within the park, and that has been communicated to the residents within the park," said Saanich Asst. Deputy Chief Brock Henson.
He said the person who lived in the tent said he may have left a lit cigarette in it. The cause remains under investigation.
Both the city and province have applied for injunctions to remove the tent city. An injunction hearing wrapped up Friday, and the judge has reserved his decision until the end of this week.