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Large camper van destroyed in blaze near Port Coquitlam park, man left homeless

Fire started in the engine compartment and quickly spread to the cab and living quarters, Port Coquitlam firefighters arrived to put out the blaze while Citadel Heights neighbours and police directed traffic
Camper fire in Port Coquitlam Linda Snowden image
A large camper van caught on fire next to Citadel Park in Port Coquitlam on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2021.

A large camper van caught fire Tuesday evening next to Castle Park in Port Coquitlam, generating huge flames and heat that created concerns about nearby trees catching on fire.

The blaze, which started in the engine and spread to the cab and living quarters, also left one man homeless, said Port Coquitlam Fire Chief Robert Kipps.

The man escaped the fire without injury.

“I empathize with this homeowner. It’s very unfortunate that he lost his home and the damage is substantial,” Kipps told the Tri-City News.

Fire crews and Coquitlam RCMP were called to the scene at Citadel Drive at about 8 p.m. Tuesday and a video posted on the Port Coquitlam Community Facebook group shows substantial smoke and flames.

Kipps said the man had done some work on the fuel pump on the vehicle before driving to the Citadel Heights area where he parked.

When the fire started, the man quickly exited while someone called emergency services. 

The owner of the vehicle was also upset about the fire, said Kipps. “He was distressed. It was his home.”

The file has been referred to RCMP victims services for support.

Meanwhile, Kipps congratulated the neighbours for helping to direct traffic because the fire could have posed a hazard to passing cars.

When police got to the area, they directed traffic to keep people safe, said RCMP spokesperson Const. Deanna Law.

About half a dozen propane tanks were also removed from the vehicle as a precaution, but none exploded or were damaged in the blaze, Kipps said.

The vehicle was expected to be towed away to an ICBC claims yard for inspection.