A woman was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation and burns to her hands and feet following another fire early Saturday at Anita Place Tent City.
Neighbours heard a bang or several around 6:15 a.m. A video shows flames shooting more than five metres high near 223rd Street and inside the homeless camp fencing.
Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue chief Howard Exner said the fire started in a tent that had wooden supports, but which had lost its top following the Dec. 20 wind storm. It was the wooden part that burnt.
Two people had been living in the tent.
Exner said a camp resident had tried to douse the flames with a fire extinguisher, but it grew too fast.
Crews extinguished the blaze with water.
Exner said no propane tanks were involved.
“A standard propane tank can blow up a house, so it wasn’t that,” Exner said.
He added among the remnants was a burnt aerosol can, flattened like tin foil.
He said the fire did not start outside the camp and is not considered suspicious at this time.
The fire department arrived shortly after multiple 911 calls.
Members remained on scene for up to two hours, said a neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous.
“I heard an explosion. Actually, I think it more than one,” she added.
People were screaming … the fires that are regular are starting to scare me.”
Police and paramedics also attended, according to another neighbour, Blair Karsten.
It is the sixth fire at the camp since its inception 18 months ago, and second this month.
On Dec. 9., residents of the homeless camp heard a “bang” around 7 p.m., then the sound of a vehicle speeding off.
They fear that fire was deliberately set, although the Maple Ridge fire department found no such evidence.
Two days later, the City of Maple Ridge The city announced that it was returning to B.C. Supreme Court for an order to enforce fire safety regulations at the camp.
The city also wants a court order that will allow it to “better identify” people at the camp, so it knows how many need housing.
Of the first four fires, Exner has said nothing indicated they were started outside the camp, either.
A fire also occurred at the camp last December.