Residents displaced after fire tore through a homeless camp in Hamilton Park – Hamilton | The Canadian News

Several Hamilton residents who were left homeless have been displaced after a fire ripped through a camp in a park in downtown Hamilton.

Hamilton Deputy Fire Chief Dan Milovanovic said they were called to JC Beemer Park on Victoria Avenue North shortly before 6 a.m. Wednesday for reports of a garbage fire.

When they arrived, Milovanovic said they discovered that a large area that appeared to be a “makeshift camp” was on fire and said crews quickly brought down the fire without injury to residents or firefighters.

He said the scene was later turned over to Hamilton police.

Media relations spokesperson Const. Krista-Lee Ernst told Global News that the cause of the fire is not believed to be criminal in nature.

“The Hamilton Police Social Navigation Program worked with displaced people to secure shelter,” Ernst wrote in an email.

The story continues below the ad.

Read more:

City of Hamilton to Resume Camp Enforcement Following Court Victory

He added that the hydroelectric plant will be on the scene for several hours to repair damaged lines in the area and a part of the park remains covered with duct tape.

The Camp Hamilton Support Network, a group that advocates on behalf of the city’s homeless residents, said the fire destroyed most of residents’ possessions and tents.

The group remains on scene in the park Wednesday afternoon, calling on the city not to remove what remains of residents’ belongings.

They are also asking Hamiltonians to donate warm clothing and other essentials to help replace what was lost.

The story continues below the ad.

“We are in the beginning of winter and many of the residents who live in [J.C. Beemer] they have no options for safe or accessible housing or shelter, ”the group wrote in an emailed statement.

“A fire is a safety concern for all residents in and around the park, but it can only be adequately addressed if residents are provided with alternatives that are safe, accessible and permanent.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Leave a Comment