'Everything is gone': Homeless man loses shelter in fire beneath Lions Gate Bridge
A fire is seen burning under the north end of the Lions Gate Bridge on March 19, 2019 in this image from CTV's Chopper 9.
Published Tuesday, March 19, 2019 6:37PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 20, 2019 10:48AM PDT
A fire at a small homeless camp under the north end of the Lions Gate Bridge sent a large plume of smoke over the bridge Tuesday.
West Vancouver firefighters said they received multiple 911 calls at around 6:30 p.m. after explosions were heard in the area.
According to Asst. Chief Jeff Bush, crews found seven or eight propane tanks on site, two of which had exploded by the time they arrived.
Footage from CTV's Chopper 9 captured a man on a bike arriving on scene and saw the inferno.
That man, Harry Werner, said he, his girlfriend and adult son had been living there and was speechless when he learned his belongings had gone up in flames.
"Everything that I own is in there—it's gone. Everything is gone," Werner said. "I just had everything ripped out from underneath me, so I don't know what to do."
Bush said firefighters had to evacuate one person because it was becoming potentially dangerous.
First responders said they had to keep their distance from the blaze because they had to cool down any explosive materials that might have been at the scene before they could approach.
Firefighters had extinguished the fire by around 7:30 p.m.
"They did a great job of knocking it down very quickly," Bush said. "Now we're just mopping it up and just sifting through the debris trying to eliminate any hazards and hit spot fires."
Bush said fire investigators will return to the scene Wednesday when there is daylight to determine how the blaze started.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Angela Jung