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News / Clark County News

Vancouver Fire battles blaze at ‘Swamps’ homeless encampment

By Amy Libby, Columbian Web Editor
Published: March 3, 2023, 7:47am

The Vancouver Fire Department spent more than two hours battling a blaze at an east Vancouver homeless encampment often referred to as ‘The Swamps.”

Vancouver fire units were called to the encampment near Cost Less Auto Parts, 10507 N.E. 53rd, for a report of a fire in the makeshift camp about 2 a.m. Friday, according to a statement from the agency.

“The first fire engine to arrive found a heavy amount of fire in several makeshift structures and tents with people fleeing the area,” the agency said. Crews went into defensive mode in response, due to the number of explosions coming from the fire. Fire personnel protected nearby businesses to keep the fire from spreading to those buildings.

One resident of the encampment was treated for minor burns and released.

According to the fire department, 14 firefighters were on scene for 2½ hours battling the difficult blaze.

The fire is currently under investigation by the Vancouver Fire Marshals office.