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N.S. government 'very concerned' about tent fires at two Halifax homeless encampments

HALIFAX — The Nova Scotia government says it’s very concerned about safety at Halifax’s homeless encampments after tents caught fire at two sites over the weekend.

The Department of Community Services says it is worried about the situation at the encampments that is leading to fires, one of which occurred in downtown Halifax Saturday and one in Dartmouth Sunday.

Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Services responded to both fires and says there were no injuries reported.

Deputy fire chief David Meldrum says a tent caught fire Sunday behind Wyse Road in Dartmouth, adding that MacDonald Bridge security staff doused the flames with a portable extinguisher.

The occupant of the tent told firefighters they had been running a small propane heater inside the tent and had fallen asleep.

A volunteer who responded to the blaze Saturday at downtown Halifax’s Grand Parade says the tent’s three residents narrowly escaped and that he put out the fire before it reached a nearby propane tank.

The Halifax Regional Municipality did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 11, 2023.

The Canadian Press