At approximately 5 a.m. today, the Toronto Fire Service responded to reports of screaming, explosions and a fire involving three tents and one wooden structure at an encampment at Lamport Stadium on King Street West. There were no reports of injuries. Toronto Police Service are investigating the fire with the assistance of Toronto Fire.
The City of Toronto’s Street-to-Homes staff are on site offering safe, indoor space to anyone displaced as a result of the fire.
Encampments in parks and other public spaces pose a significant risk of fire and other hazards to those living in them, as well as the neighbouring public. There has been a 250 per cent increase in encampment fires since January 2020. Tragically, seven people have lost their lives as a result of encampment fires in Toronto since 2010.
Since the start of the pandemic, the City has referred more than 1,500 people experiencing homelessness into safe, indoor space, with supports including meals, laundry, harm reduction and access to a housing worker.
Last week, City staff attended the Lamport Stadium encampment where 15 people were staying, and cleared several structures and tents after notice had been posted the week prior. Protests caused the City to temporarily pause this work for public safety reasons. At least three people were referred to safe, indoor space, with others either considering coming inside or declining safe, inside space entirely.
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