MAPLE RIDGE (NEWS 1130) — Three fires have now broken out within three days at Anita Place tent city in Maple Ridge — about a week after the city began inspections of the camp in efforts to address fire safety issues.
The fire happened around 1:45 a.m. Friday, causing significant damage to the camp. No camp residents or fires responders were hurt, and the fire department is now conducting an investigation.
This third fire is renewing fire safety concerns from the mayor.
“I want to make it very clear that I, and all members of Council, share the citizens’ concerns for the safety of the camp occupants, the surrounding neighbourhood and our front line responders,” he says.
Chris Bosley, a volunteer at the camp, has befriended the campers over the last two years and says the words “burn it down ” and “bulldoze it” are turning up online.
She says the disturbing comments are not only directed at the camp.
“I’m probably the number one target.” she says. “I have a few friends and they’ll often say ‘Chris, be careful when you’re out walking.'”
The B.C. Supreme Court granted Maple Ridge an injunction on February 8 to address the city’s long-standing fire safety concerns, allowing them to remove fire accelerants — such as gas cans, fuel tanks, generators, and electrical connectors — but not wooden structures.
The City moved in last week to start enforcing the court injunction, and found 75 propane tanks. On Sunday, they removed propane tanks, fuel cans, patio heaters, and a gas-powered generator.