A fire destroyed two RVs at a controversial makeshift campground in downtown Port Alberni’s early Saturday morning.
Port Alberni firefighters were called to a fire at a residential lot home to more than a dozen RVs in the 3600-block of 4th Avenue at around 5:30 a.m. Saturday. Firefighters were alerted to the blaze by an RCMP officer who noticed it.
According to Port Alberni’s fire chief, Mike Owens, when crews arrived, they found two RV’s in flames, and burning next to an apartment building and several more RV’s that are housing people facing homelessness.
The property’s owner has opened up the lot in order to house people who would otherwise be homeless.
According to Colin Minions of the Salvation Army, one or possibly two people have been displaced by the fire, and emergency services were trying to secure them a place to sleep.
“It’s going to be a challenge because last I’d heard the shelter was running over capacity every night. We’ve opened up the Bread of Life for overnight. Technically, it’s just a drop-in centre but we had 24 people sleeping here last night. So we know there’s just a lack of beds for people right now,” Minions told CHEK News.
No one was injured and the cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to PAFD.