Lit cigarette caused fire at Saanich tent city, officials say

Lit cigarette caused fire at Saanich tent city, officials say

Saanich Fire Department characterize blaze as ‘accidental due to the careless use of smoking materials’

  • Sep. 4, 2018 3:50 p.m.

The cause of a fire that claimed the home of a man at Camp Namegans, the tent city in Regina Park, was the result of a lit cigarette left smoldering inside a tent.

In a statement released Tuesday, Saanich Fire Department said the blaze was “accidental due to the careless use of smoking materials.”

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Shortly after noon on Sunday, residents of the tent city said they heard an explosion and saw a fire growing in a tent where Charles Leslie Walkus had been living for two months.

Walkus, and others who live at the camp, were able to extinguish the blaze by the time fire crews arrived to find the tent smoldering.

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Within the remnants of the fire debris, officials found two lighters, a butane canister and one melted gas container.

No one was in the tent at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.

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Earlier this summer the Saanich Fire Department issued fire inspection orders to the encampment that included a prohibition against smoking in the park and a requirement to move fuel containers to safe areas.

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