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Fire at homeless camp shuts down SkyTrain into downtown

Last Updated Dec 14, 2018 at 8:59 pm PDT

Smoke spotted downtown at Cordova and Thurlow. (Ash Kelly, NEWS 1130)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A fire under the tracks near Canada Place has been put out, and the SkyTrain service into downtown has been restored.

The Expo Line going into downtown was stopped this afternoon while Vancouver Fire extinguished the flames around 1 p.m. near the entrance the SkyTrain tunnel close to Cordova and Burrard Streets. The fire was not inside the tunnel and no SkyTrain infrastructure was damaged.

Vancouver’s fire department says the fire was accidental and happened after some items belonging to a group of homeless campers caught fire. Assistant Fire Chief Dale Parno says a lot of plastic items were involved, which created some dark smoke. No one was injured.

“It looked quite spectacular due to the burning plastics, but it was not actually that larger of a fire,” he says. “But the situation could have been worse for people camping in that area.”

He says fire prevention officers and the Vancouver Police Department are trying to make things safer for people who were living there.

“Unregulated camping is dangerous. It can involve obviously unsafe living conditions, and are working on a solution to alleviate that,” he says.

While the fire was active, Expo Lines are went as far as Stadium-Chinatown station before turning back.