Crews respond to another fire at Anita Place Tent City

Witnesses heard three to four explosions at camp on 223rd Street in Maple Ridge.

There was another fire at tent city on Wednesday. (Contributed)

Crews responded to a fire at Anita Place Tent City in Maple Ridge on Wednesday, just days after heat and electrical sources were removed from the homeless camp on 223rd Street as part of a court order to address safety issues there.

Residents in the area reported hearing “multiple” explosions around 2:20 p.m. Some witnesses said they heard three or four explosions.

Marsha Salonga was across the street by St. Anne’s Clinic at the time and took pictures of the fire, near the entrance to the camp.

Flames shot higher than nearby tents and a tall tree was ignited.

She said the fire department arrived and quickly put the fire out.

“I’m very impressed with first responders,” she added.

Another said: “Flames were just roaring.”

Jaime Chalmers, who lives a block away from the camp, heard the explosions.

“It sounded like someone drove a car through my front room. The whole house shook.”

She ran down to the homeless camp.

“There was a huge plumage of black smoke from tent city,” she added.

“It was like a volcano erupting.”

RCMP also attended.

“Currently, it is a fire matter,” said RCMP Sgt. Brenda Gresiuk.

It is not known if anyone was injured. No ambulance responded.

Wednesday’s fire is the seventh at the homeless camp since its inception in May 2017, during one of which a woman was seriously injured.

Dwayne Martin, who was arrested on the weekend and charged, was in his shack when he heard the explosions and rushed out to use a fire extinguisher on the fire.

“It was massive. The fire department was there quickly, he added.

“They were really good. They did a fantastic job.”

It’s not certain what exactly caused the blaze or what exploded.

The Maple Ridge fire department was unavailable for comment.

On Sunday, six people were arrested for violation of the City of Maple Ridge’s court injunction order for the homeless camp, including Martin, who had barricaded himself inside his wooden structure.

Police and bylaws set up a barricade around Anita Place Tent City on Saturday and residents were asked for identification to be put on a list for housing, while the fire department enforced safety regulations imposed by a B.C. Supreme Court order, issued by Justice Christopher Grauer earlier this month.

Electricity to the camp and heat to its warming tent were cut off Friday, when it snowed, and remained so on Wednesday, while heat sources were removed.

According to the city, propane tanks had been tampered with and the supplier decided to remove them.

“This represented an extreme fire hazard …”

The electrical panel had also been tampered with and was open to the elements, creating a risk of electrocution, said the city.

Earlier Wednesday, Ivan Drury, with Alliance Against Displacement, said residents were starting to bring back heaters and fuel into the camp.

“Guess what happens when there’s no police?” added Drury, who was also arrested on the weekend and released on bail.

“You’re going to take them away, people bring them back.

“So what’s the point of this? It’s just an exercise in force.”

 

Emergency crews responded to a call about a fire at the camp on Wednesday.

Just Posted

ePlanes will fly out of Pitt Meadows

Harbour Air will take a year or two to convert entire fleet to electric

Ridge chamber announces finalists for best-in-business awards

Winners will be announced at annual gala in February.

Four ‘neglected’ dogs surrendered to SPCA by Maple Ridge backyard breeder

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

Wires down along 112th Avenue in Maple Ridge

There are 244 customers without power in the area

Ridge RCMP arrest man who tried to escape on skateboard

Dustin William Randall Evans, 30, was wanted on outstanding warrants.

Fashion Fridays: A masterclass on H&M knitwear

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Haney junior boys win Carney basketball tourney

Maple Ridge team beats Abbotsford Christian 53-49 in the final

Sawatsky undefeated in post-season play

Dominant effort in Haney Masters Curling

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

National cold case hunters take on search for missing man last seen in B.C.

Kristofer Couture’s car was found at Chilliwack trailhead in January but there’s been no sign since

Most Read