Stadium experiences blaze as police clash with residents

The Toronto Fire Service has investigated a fire at the Lamport Stadium homeless encampment.

According to the City of Toronto, fire crews were called to the Liberty Village encampment around 5 am on May 23 following reports of screaming, explosions, and a fire.

Once on scene, crews discovered three tents and one wooden structure on fire. The flames were extinguished, and there have been no reports of injuries, the city said.

According to the City, there has been a 250% increase in encampment fires since January 2020, with seven people dying in encampment fires in Toronto since 2010.

“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,” the City said.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said that as well as the 15 residents of the encampment, “many more people” had materialized when officials arrived. Tory called their actions “profoundly unacceptable,” noting that people had thrown bottles and rocks at police officers.

The mayor defended officials’ actions, claiming that residents had been given “plenty of notice” to vacate the area. Tory revealed that outreach workers have visited the Lamport Stadium encampment 107 times in 2021 to offer “safe, indoor housing” to residents.

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