At least one person was injured in a major tent fire in Victoria Wednesday night.
Around 8:40 p.m. emergency crews responded to a fire in the 500-block of Ellice Street, opposite supportive housing at Rock Bay Landing, after receiving reports that multiple tents were on fire with people possibly still inside, as well as propane tank explosions.
According to an incident report, by the time the Victoria Fire Department arrived and deployed a suppression line, the fire had spread to five or six tents and the pallets they were sitting on.
“Quick response time from in-district engine company minimized the rapid spread of this fire to other adjoining tents along the street side,” said Battalion Chief Tim Loewen, in a statement.
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One man was treated for burns to his hands, arms and head.
According to the incident report, the “fire salvage and overhaul took considerable time to complete because the amount of product involved in the incident was substantial.”
The cause of the fire is undetermined.
Dan Atkinson, deputy chief for the Victoria Fire Department, told Black Press Media the fire is an example of why it’s so important to get people into stable housing or shelter.
“This incident really illustrates why we are strongly discouraging the use of open flame and propane heating inside these structures,” he said. “We know its cold, we know times are tough but at the end of the day, it’s not safe to have these types of heaters present out there,” he said. “Quite frankly it could have been much, much worse.”
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