Smoke billows from under the Pearson Bridge on Terminal Avenue in Nanaimo after a propane tank ignited and started a fire in a shelter in a homeless encampment under the bridge on fire Wednesday, Feb. 17. (Photo courtesy Chris Jeffs)

Smoke billows from under the Pearson Bridge on Terminal Avenue in Nanaimo after a propane tank ignited and started a fire in a shelter in a homeless encampment under the bridge on fire Wednesday, Feb. 17. (Photo courtesy Chris Jeffs)

Propane tank mishap burns homeless shelter under a bridge in Nanaimo

No known injuries or damage to the bridge after fire Wednesday, Feb. 17

Firefighters in Nanaimo were called out to douse a blaze under a bridge to and from the city’s downtown.

The blaze broke out at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, under the Pearson Bridge that spans the Millstone River on Terminal Avenue near Maffeo Sutton Park.

“We had homeless people living under the bridge and one of them let a propane tank go,” said Capt. Alan Millbank, head of Nanaimo Fire Rescues Fire and Loss Prevention division, who investigated the fire. “Nobody was hurt. It looks like they all got out.”

Millbank said the propane tank was a small one typically used for camping stoves. The fire ignited a makeshift shelter that had been constructed under a hollow space in the bridge structure. The bridge did not sustain any damage.

Millbank declined to comment on what steps might be taken regarding shelters under the bridge, but did express concern over the potential for the risk of fires there.

“It’s dangerous when those things are burning and people are walking by it, as well as for the people inside,” he said.

READ ALSO: City dismantling Wesley Street homeless encampment after fire



photos@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

fireHomelessness

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old Nanaimo bike rider already attracting cycle sponsors

Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

A Nanaimo RCMP officer is recovering after his patrol car was hit by another vehicle at an intersection on Monday, May 10. (Photo courtesy Julia Rose)
Nanaimo RCMP vehicle broad-sided in crash at Harewood intersection

Police officer recovering at home following collision Monday

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
Two more involved in ‘Schoolhouse Squat’ sentenced in Nanaimo court

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen get conditional discharges in provincial court in Nanaimo

Gabriola Island’s Kerplunks – Aaron Cadwaladr, Dinah D, Phil Wipper and Jojo Hallett (from left) – perform live from the Port Theatre on May 15. (Photo courtesy Lance Sullivan/Concept Photography)
Nanaimo children’s group the Kerplunks hold first concert in over a year

TheatreOne and the Port Theatre present ‘Upstream with the Kerplunks’

Business owner Jeff Ross outside his shop Gold Silver Guy in Qualicum Beach on May 10. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Gold Silver Guy owner finds Qualicum shop in shambles after break-in and theft

RCMP investigating after door smashed, showcases shattered and inventory stolen

Business owner Jeff Ross outside his shop Gold Silver Guy in Qualicum Beach on May 10. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Gold Silver Guy owner finds Qualicum shop in shambles after break-in and theft

RCMP investigating after door smashed, showcases shattered and inventory stolen

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

People are asked to support the Walk for Alzheimer’s by setting a personal walking or fitness challenge throughout May, while fundraising to support Alzheimer Society of B.C. programs and services. (Stock photo)
Nanaimo residents asked to ‘walk their own way’ for Alzheimer’s

Month-long self-paced fitness challenge supports Alzheimer Society of B.C.

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo mixed-use building wins top prize at commercial building awards

Village on Third was Judges’ Choice winner at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

Nanaimo painter Eileen Williamson presents ‘A Little of This….A Little of That’ at Art 10 Gallery until the end of May. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo artist unveils new body of work after rediscovering motivation

Eileen Williamson presents ‘A Little of This … A Little of That’ at Art 10 Gallery

Next week Nanaimo singer Laura Kelsey is releasing her new single A Foolish Thing and its accompanying music video. (Video still courtesy Greg Nuspel)
Nanaimo singer joined by wolf, dancers in new music video

‘A Foolish Thing’ is Laura Kelsey’s first professionally made single in seven years

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Most Read