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No injuries reported after two tent encampment fires in Saint John

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Police in Saint John, N.B., are investigating two tent fires that occurred around the same time in nearby encampments, early Wednesday morning.

“At approximately 2:30 a.m. emergency crews responded to a call of a tent fire in the area of Paradise Row and Somerset Street,” said Saint John Police Staff Sergeant Matthew Weird. “Upon arrival, a second tent was found to be on fire in another nearby encampment. Both fires were extinguished and there are no injuries reported at this time.”’

There was no immediate information about how the fires started.

“Luckily the encampments were unoccupied and nobody was around,” said Saint John Fire Department Captain Rob Nichol. “The crews did a thorough search to make sure that nobody was in, or around that area.”

Saint John Police said criminality hadn’t been ruled out in its investigation yet.

“The matter is still currently under investigation and there are no further details for the public at this time.”

There has been a string of tent fires in Saint John this year.

In January, Evan McArthur died from injuries suffered after a tent fire in the Paradise Row area

In February, surveillance video footage showed a tent being intentionally set on fire in the Waterloo Village area. Nobody was injured. The incident is still under investigation.

In March, Rae Tyler and Jonathan Calhoun died from a tent fire in the Paradise Row area. A memorial garden has since been built at the location.

The Saint John Fire Department has made changes to how it responds to 911 calls involving a tent fire.

“Because the fires burn so fast we like to have the resources there,” said Nichol. “Sometimes with two trucks you’re able to secure that water supply, or if there’s difficulty in access… extra hands make it easier to be able to make the mitigation quicker.”

A total of three fire trucks were deployed for Wednesday morning’s fires.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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