VIDEO: Explosions, fire rock B.C. homeless camp

Witnesses heard three to four explosions at the Anita Place tent city in Maple Ridge.

Crews are cleaning up after explosions and yet another fire erupted at a homeless camp in the Lower Mainland community of Maple Ridge, only days after authorities removed heat and electrical sources as they enforced a court order.

Residents in the area of the Anita Place Tent City reported hearing “multiple explosions” around 2:20 p.m. on Wednesday.

Jaime Chalmers, who lives a block away, heard the explosions. “It sounded like someone drove a car through my front room. The whole house shook.”

She she said ran down to the homeless camp. Flames shot higher than nearby tents and a tall tree was ignited.

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

It was not immediately clear if anyone was injured, nor what caused the fire and explosions. The fire department has not yet commented.

It was the seventh fire at the homeless camp since its inception in May 2017.

On Sunday, six people were arrested for violating the City of Maple Ridge’s court order at the camp to address safety issues by removing heat sources and propane tanks that had been tampered with.

Before the explosions, Ivan Drury, with Alliance Against Displacement, had told Black Press Media residents were starting to bring back heaters and fuel into the camp.

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

(Contributed) There were two more fires at tent city on Wednesday.

Just Posted

“Does Kirby care?” Heiltsuk Nation using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

“No excuse” for killing of two young grizzly cubs

Reader hopeful someone will come forward with information

UPDATE: U.S. firm fined $2.9M for fuel spill that soiled B.C. First Nation territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

No delivery services hard on local families

New parents Candace Knudsen and Bjorn Samuelsen spent five weeks away from home

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Most Read