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Woman sent to RIH with burns following fire at storage facility

A fire at a municipal storage facility for the homeless sent a middle-aged woman to hospital with burns on Sunday. Kamloops Fire Rescue attended the mini-storage facility at 48 West Victoria St. at about 2 p.m.
homeless storage
This building at 48 West Victoria St., across from city hall, is used as a storage facility for the belongings of the city's homeless. A day space will open next to the facility in April 2022.

A fire at a municipal storage facility for the homeless sent a middle-aged woman to hospital with burns on Sunday. 

Kamloops Fire Rescue attended the mini-storage facility at 48 West Victoria St. at about 2 p.m. for the small fire, which occurred within the building. The blaze, however, was put out with a fire extinguisher shortly before a crew of 12 firefighters arrived at the scene.

KFR platoon Capt. Ken Hartt told KTW he did not know how or where within the building the fire started, but when firefighters arrived there was one female outside the building who had suffered burns to her “upper extremities and face” from the fire.

He said there was no damage to the building due to the blaze.

KFR fire investigator Ray Webster told KTW the fire started in one of the washrooms in the facility and was deemed suspicious. He said he did not have a cause of the fire and asked all other questions be relayed to the RCMP, which is investigating. 

Reached for comment, RCMP spokesperson Crystal Evelyn told KTW it appears as though the woman's clothes had caught fire, and she was rushed to hospital in critical condition. Evelyn said the fire appears to have been accidentally set, and no criminality is suspected in the incident at this time. Asked what the source of ignition was, Evelyn said that is still under investigation.

Evelyn said police responded to the fire at about 2 p.m. to assist KFR with the woman, who she described as having been "badly burnt."

The storage facility was put in place a few years ago courtesy a partnership between the City of Kamloops and the Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society. It offers a place to store belongings, as well as harm-reduction equipment, cellphone charging, needle disposal and an address for those who need a place to send their mail.

 

—This story was updated Nov. 9 with more information from Kamloops RCMP