UPDATE: Brantford Fire crews were called to the site of a tent city being forcibly dismantled Wednesday morning. Police say a large blaze was deliberately set by one of the occupants of the site, located near Shallow Creek Park.
There are no reports of injuries as a result of the fire, but police say they did rush in to rescue one man before he was injured. Police also say, EMS was on scene to attend to another man who was found unresponsive and suspected to be suffering from hypothermia.
Fire officials were swift to contain the blaze but roads in the area were blocked off for a time. An investigation into the cause of the fire is now underway by officials.
At 9AM Wednesday morning Brantford Police executed a trespassing order issued by the owner of the private property adjacent to Shallow Creek Park. Residents of the encampment over the last several months had been provided warning the order would be executed December 4th.
The city confirms there were 12 occupants at the site, known as the ‘Welcome Love Camp’ at the time of the incident. There are no reports of any injuries.
Brantford police, environmental crews and some community members continued to dismantle the site and help residents pack.
In a statement, The City of Brantford says they recognize homelessness is a complicated issue and continue to work with community agencies, non-profit groups and the network of emergency shelter facilities to provide outreach services to those in need of support services and emergency shelter.
The city’s new Temporary Winter Emergency Shelter at 180 Greenwich Street opened on Monday, December 2nd. That shelter is operational from 8PM until 8AM each evening from now until April 30, 2020.
Anyone seeking emergency shelter is asked to contact the Social Services Support Centre directly at 519-756-7009 or visit 220 Colborne Street, Monday to Friday, 8:30AM to 4PM or call the Salvation Army at 519-753-4193 after hours.