British Columbia

Fire at Maple Ridge homeless camp destroys tents, structures

Residents of Anita Place said this is the second fire this week since city officials raided the camp and confiscated heaters, propane tanks and other sources of heat.

No injuries after blaze at Anita Place, but police searching for at least 1 resident

RCMP said they are still searching for one person who was believed to be living in the tent that caught fire. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Maple Ridge first responders were called to another fire at a homeless camp overnight.

Residents said it's the second fire at the Anita Place camp this week, since officials with the City of Maple Ridge seized propane tanks, heaters and barbecues last weekend as part of a court injunction.

The fire reportedly started in a tent around 2 a.m. PT Friday, before spreading to some other structures near the back of the camp on 222nd Street.

Ted Hajdu, who works regularly with people at the camp, was at the scene after the fire was contained. He said these fires are often a result of people trying to stay warm without the sources of heat that were recently seized.

Ted Hajdu said he's worried for some of the residents he knows in the camp after this latest fire. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

'They have to resort to setting fires'

"These people won't have any measure of staying warm … they won't let them have electricity," Hajdu said.

"They have to resort to setting fires in the warming tent to stay warm. That's not right."

The camp was raided over the weekend by city officials saying there were several fire hazards in the camp.

RCMP say they don't believe anyone was injured in this latest fire but they are searching for one resident who was believed to be living in the tent where the fire started.

The exact cause is under investigation.


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