Jack-o’-lanterns left at the ‘Shady Mile’ outside East Wellington Fire Hall on Jingle Pot Road on Sunday. (News Bulletin photo)

Jack-o’-lanterns left at the ‘Shady Mile’ outside East Wellington Fire Hall on Jingle Pot Road on Sunday. (News Bulletin photo)

Halloween in Nanaimo howled with high call numbers for emergency services

Police seized fireworks and an Airsoft gun while firefighters responded to burning complaints

With fireworks set off across the city, Nanaimo was anything but quiet Halloween night.

In spite of it being a noisy night, no injuries were reported, but firefighters and police were kept busy responding to fires and noise complaints.

“It was relatively non-eventful,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, though he added there were 163 calls for service Oct. 31. “We had 32 calls for fireworks being set off anywhere from 7:30 to 11 o’clock at night. There were no charges. There one [fireworks] seizure from a party. They were quite apologetic.”

One person in the Northfield area called in to advise police her horses were spooked by fireworks, but the animals weren’t injured.

Upon responding to a complaint about fireworks being set off at Rutherford Elementary School, police found a vehicle with “fireworks remnants” inside, O’Brien said, along with an Airsoft pistol. People in the proximity of the call allegedly claimed they had no idea how the pistol got there and the gun was “seized for safekeeping.”

Police also seized some fireworks found on the side of the road near Departure Bay Beach.

O’Brien said there were no fines issued under B.C.’s COVID Related Measures Act.

“We didn’t expect any,” O’Brien said. “Whatever parties there were, were either outside and they were maintaining social spacing and if they were inside the numbers were less than would cause any concern.”

Nanaimo RCMP received another 91 calls for service the remainder of the weekend.

“We had a larger than normal number of burning complaints, however, most fires were compliant cooking fires,” said Capt. Alan Millbank, Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s chief fire prevention officer.

Millbank said there were also a large number of suspicious fires at schools where the contents of cement garbage cans had been set alight.

“Otherwise it was a very safe night with no reports of serious injuries or burns related to fireworks or cooking fires,” Millbank said.

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