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Children playing with fire blamed for burning up tree fort in Nanaimo

Fire sparked in tree fort could have had serious consequences, says fire investigator

Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s fire and loss prevention division is cautioning parents to keep an eye on their children and not let them play with fire.

The warning follows a fire Tuesday evening in the woods behind Owlstone Place that destroyed a tree fort, burned trees and took firefighters about 45 minutes to completely extinguish after they arrived on scene.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue was alerted to the blaze at about 8 p.m.

“Some kids were playing with fire and lit a tree fort on fire,” said Alan Millbank, Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire prevention officer. “Four hundred feet in from the back of a house there was a tree house and a kids’ fort was on fire.”

Millbank said the fire was difficult for firefighters to access because of its location. The structure was not associated to any private property and appeared to have been built by children who play in the woods.

“It doesn’t look like it was built by any dads, let’s put it that way,” he said.

The fire destroyed the structure and burned the tree it was built in.

“It was way up in a tree, though … it’s been torn out of the trees. The trees were burnt,” Millbank said.

There were no reported injuries.

Millbank said now that children are out of school for the summer, parents need to be aware of what their children are up to and not to let them play with fire.

“Don’t play with matches. It’s really dry out there. Don’t have little campfires … It could’ve been a serious situation, but the fire department was there quickly. Be aware of what your kids are up to. Don’t let them play with matches out in the forest,” he said.



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