A fire at a homeless camp in Polson Park was extinguished by Vernon firefighters early Monday Feb. 8. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Fire sparked at homeless camp in Vernon park

Camp stove used to keep warm lit tent on fire early Monday morning

Using a camp stove to keep warm, someone sleeping in a tent in Polson Park awoke to their home in flames Monday morning

Vernon Fire Rescue Services was called to reports of a fire in Polson Park shortly after 8 a.m. Feb. 8.

Firefighters received multiple reports that a tent was on fire in the park, near the railroad tracks behind the Shops at Polson Park. Upon arrival, firefighters knocked the fire down quickly and kept it from spreading to nearby trees or other areas of the park.

“The fire was contained to a small area of the park and no nearby structures were at risk,” deputy fire chief Dwight Seymour said. “An investigation indicates the fire was started from a camp stove that was inside the tent. It appears an individual who was living in the tent was using the stove to keep warm and woke up to the fire.”

No injuries were reported in the incident.

VFRS and bylaw compliance officers requested local social service agencies to attend the scene in order to offer assistance to the individuals involved, where possible.

“The Okanagan has experienced a very warm and mild winter so far this year,” Seymour said. “With much colder temperatures in the forecast this week, we anticipate residents will start using more heat sources such as electric heaters, fireplaces and stoves. Everyone is reminded to use extra caution with these devices and follow manufacturer’s instructions.”

READ MORE: Donations dip in downtown Vernon kindness meters

READ MORE: Dumpster fire behind Vernon shopping mall


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