J.C. Beemer Park Encampment Fire Follow up
Hamilton Police are working closely with the City of Hamilton to ensure the safety of the community after an early morning fire at J.C. Beemer Park.
On Wednesday, November 24, 2021, shortly before 6:00 a.m., Hamilton Police and Hamilton Fire responded to a fire within an encampment at 68 Victoria Avenue North. Upon arrival, first responders found several tents fully engulfed in flames spanning 15-20 feet in the air. Police and Fire were able to pull multiple occupants from their tents before the fire spread.
There were several explosions from items such as propane tanks and electrical generators, which was further fuelled by debris in the surrounding area. The fire destroyed several tents but thankfully no physical injuries were reported.
Hamilton Police located multiple propane tanks within the vicinity which pose a risk to those sleeping rough as well as the surrounding residences. A hydro line was also damaged in the fire.
The Hamilton Police Social Navigator Program is working closely with the City of Hamilton Municipal Law Enforcement and community partners to find alternate housing options for those sleeping rough. At this time, the majority of those affected have been relocated and six individuals have been provided with shelter.
The conditions at J.C. Beemer Park are unsafe. The City of Hamilton will be cleaning up the area and Alectra Utilities will be repairing the damaged line as soon as the encampment has been removed.
Approximately 25-30 individuals gathered at J.C. Beemer Park to protest the removal of the encampment. Two individuals were arrested during the protest. A 33-year-old male was arrested for obstruct police and a 27-year-old female was arrested for assaulting a police officer.
Hamilton Police will remain in the area as Hamilton Municipal Law Enforcement works to clean up the site.