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.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Cyclists see potential and pitfalls in Sooke infrastructure

Getting from Sooke Road to Galloping Goose Trail a challenge for bike riders

Province buys Paul’s Motor Inn to house Victoria’s homeless population

Inn is the second hotel the province has purchased to support vulnerable community

Firefighters called for technical rescue at Sooke Potholes

Woman breaks her leg while walking along riverbed

Sidney blocks off parking spaces to create more sidewalk

Additional measures to create more outdoor space for restaurants and cafe on way

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Most Read