Leaders at Anita Place tent city say they will comply with an evacuation order (Neil Corbett/Maple Ridge News)

Maple Ridge homeless camp residents bracing to be evacuated

Fire safety evacuation order issued Friday after three fires in two days

Street entrenched people living at Anita Place Tent City are anticipating fire officials and police to come and evacuate the homeless camp in Maple Ridge.

The Provincial Fire Commissioner issued an evacuation order Friday after there were three fires in two days at the camp, and a total of nine over almost two years since the camp was established on 223rd Street in May of 2017.

According to the order, the evacuation is “a result of the existence of fire hazards and the risk of explosion” and says “there is an imminent and serious danger to life and property if persons are permitted to occupy.”

On Saturday, what once was a camp filled with colourful tarps and wooden structures had many heaps of charred debris and metal piping.

Most camp residents were leaving the site with their few belongings, although a truck turned up to remove a big screen television from the camp.

Camp residents and spokesperson Chris Bossley were talking about what they believe was a deliberate attempt to start a fire in the camp at approximately 10 p.m. on Friday night, by a couple who are not camp residents. The man left the camp with a bloodied face said Dwayne Martin. Police responded to the scene.

Longtime camp resident Pete Woodrow told the Maple Ridge News he doesn’t know exactly how each fire sparked earlier this week.

“I know at least one of them, there was no way it could have been an inside combustible,” he said.

The fires follow steps by the Maple Ridge fire department and city to ensure safety measures were in place to avoid fires sparking as temperatures have plunged in recent weeks. Those measures include prohibiting propane.

But Pivot Legal Society, who’s representing the camp residents, said by prohibiting propane and cutting power to a warming tent supplied by BC Housing, it has left residents with no ways to stay warm.

Woodrow said he believes the province should provide motel rooms for the evacuated residents who are facing being displaced.

“I think people are feeling a lot of hopelessness, they are scared,” he said. “We’re just trying our best to keep them calm and hopefully we can negotiate a place for them to go tonight – that’s my one goal today.”

More to come.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Winner announced in Langley Total Makeover Contest

Cheri McBride thanked friends and family for supporting her

LETTER: Langley cycling lanes sparse and treacherous

Bike to School and Bike to Work week is taking place May 27-31

Public invited to Alzheimer walk in Langley

A Langley seniors complex and a North Langley business group have teamed… Continue reading

OPP looking for suspect after Best Buy credit-card fraud in Surrey

Ontario Provincial Police believe suspect has links to Surrey and Langley

Aldergrove shoppers watch Safeway shelves ‘go empty’ before store closes

Store closes Saturday, locals express concern over FreshCo’s product quality

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Burnaby facility to dispose of 1,500 tonnes of Canada’s trash from Philippines

All 103 containers will be disposed of properly within Canada before the end of the summer

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Man wants guilty plea revoked in 2012 collision in Abbotsford that killed Chilliwack woman

Michael Larocque was charged in relation to crash that killed Eileen Kleinfelder

High-risk sex offender released into Surrey

Earon Wayne Giles, a Newton “tag-team rapist,” was released from prison Friday and is now living in Surrey

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

UPDATE: Vancouver man dies after crash between motorcycle, transport truck

Police believe speed was a factor in Thursday collision

Trial slated to start Monday for accused killer of Abbotsford cop

Oscar Arfmann faces first-degree murder for death of Const. John Davidson

Most Read