No one hurt in latest tent fire in Beacon Hill Park

No one was injured when fire destroyed a tent at Beacon Hill Park, at the corner of Douglas and Cook streets on Saturday afternoon.

People on the scene used a fire extinguisher and when the Victoria Fire Department arrived crews used a hose to put out the blaze, Battalion Chief Jim McNeill said.

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Fire broke out when an artist working with wood was putting a coating on one of his pieces. The man was smoking at the time and McNeill figures fumes caught on fire.

The man was not hurt but “basically lost everything,” he said.

A community care tent is located at that corner and helpers soon had another tent set up for the man.

The fire was reported at 2:41 p.m. and was out at 3:16 p.m.

Victoria resident Karen Dellert spotted the fire while on a walk to the waterfront, saying the smoke first caught her attention.

She questions the wisdom of tents being permitted at that corner, an environmentally sensitive area of the park. She believes there are safer spaces in the park for tents.

Several tents are standing within the wooded area and if one caught on fire, it could could easily spread to another, she said.

This is the latest of several fires in the park.

Unhoused campers are temporarily permitted to camp in the park because there are no shelter spaces available. The province has vowed that everyone will have a sheltered space by the end of March.

A dramatic fire sending flames 25 to 30 feet into the air broke out in a tent in late January, across the street from South Park Family School. No one was injured.

The man using the tent said at the time that he had stepped out and left an oil burner unattended.

A couple of days later, police and firefighters were in the park to look into allegations of an assault and whether it was connected to a small fire. One person was taken into custody.

In early November, police arrested a man who was believed to be responsible for a fire in a tent in the park.

And in late October, a fire was reported in a temporary structure in the park, close to Douglas Street and Circle Drive.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com

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