Tree cabin removed following fire near Integrated Care Hub

For the second time in as many days, Kingston Fire & Rescue (KFR) have removed a structure following a fire in an encampment at Belle Park, near the Integrated Care Hub on Montreal Street.

“[On Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024,] fire crews responded to a reported structure fire at Belle Park. It was located inside a combustible structure built onto a tree,” the City of Kingston confirmed in a statement the following day.

According to KFR Deputy Chief Kevin Donaldson, crews were able to extinguish the fire and after investigating, discovered the source.

“We determined a homemade wood stove was in operation at the time of the fire and it had a stop sign blocking the opening where venting of heat and smoke would typically take place. Several clothing items were also placed on top of the homemade heating device and caught fire,” said Donaldson. 

Kingston Fire & Rescue, exercising powers under section 15 of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, removed the wood structure today “to remove or reduce an immediate threat to life.”

Under the Act, fire inspectors who believe a risk of fire poses an immediate threat to life have the authority to enter on land or premises and remove anything that may constitute a fire menace or take any action urgently required to remove or reduce the threat to life.

The action is not related to enforcement of the Parks By-Law‘s prohibition on daytime camping in parks, the City said.

“We remain very concerned about the immediate threat to life posed by devices inside tents and structures,” Donaldson continued. “We can’t repeat enough the safety and well-being of all individuals is always our priority”.

Fire officials said they’ve issued three previous Immediate Threats to Life to individuals at this structure and one for the removal of the structure due to potential fire and life safety risks. 

Donaldson added that, to date, Kingston Fire & Rescue has taken action to remove or reduce immediate threats to life within Belle Park approximately 33 separate times.

According to the City, support workers and staff from the City’s Housing and Social Services department were also on site and available to assist anyone affected by the removal of this tent, including offering storage options for belongings, shelter space and transportation.

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