Barry Hornby, city bylaws officer, middle, is presented with an award for bravery by Jake Rudolph, Nanaimo chief administrative officer, left, and Mayor Leonard Krog at a city council meeting Monday. Hornby was recognized for his response after a fire broke out in a homeless encampment on Wesley Street earlier this month. (Photo courtesy City of Nanaimo)

Barry Hornby, city bylaws officer, middle, is presented with an award for bravery by Jake Rudolph, Nanaimo chief administrative officer, left, and Mayor Leonard Krog at a city council meeting Monday. Hornby was recognized for his response after a fire broke out in a homeless encampment on Wesley Street earlier this month. (Photo courtesy City of Nanaimo)

Nanaimo hero rushed into harm’s way as shelters burned and cannisters exploded

Barry Hornby recognized for actions in Dec. 3 fire at downtown homeless camp

Exploding propane tanks and fiercely burning shelters didn’t deter a Vancouver Island man from taking heroic action earlier this month, with lives potentially on the line.

Barry Hornby, a bylaw officer with the City of Nanaimo, was presented with an appreciation award of bravery for the role he played in getting people to safety when a fire broke out in a downtown homeless encampment destroying several tents and triggering explosions.

“(Hornby) rushed into the scene of the fiercely burning fire of tents and contents, with tanks exploding, and guided people in the immediate vicinity out of harm’s way,” Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said. “This situation could have been catastrophic had it not been for his actions and others’ [actions]. This is courage at its finest. I need also to convey that this is not in his job description as a bylaws enforcement officer.”

Hornby was presented with the award at a meeting of city council Monday by Krog and Jake Rudolph, the city’s chief administration officer. Krog noted that this was an unusual presentation.

“I’m not sure if this is something that’s happened in the city’s history, potentially,” the mayor said.

Krog recounted the event, noting it was a large, intense fire that completely destroyed a number tents with explosions that shook nearby buildings, and said there were fortunately no injuries among the occupants of the encampment or city staff, firefighters and other emergency personnel who attended.

The mayor thanked Hornby for his “extraordinary and selfless act of courage” and commended him for a “remarkable act of bravery without regard for your personal safety.”

Krog also took a moment to comment on accounts circulated in social media and “different versions of events” surrounding the fire and its aftermath.

“Whatever else may come out of the story of the fire on Dec. 3, there is no question about the behaviour, the courage, demonstrated by Barry Hornby and others who attended that scene and did their best to make that situation much less of a disaster than it could have been and ensured the safety of many people,” Krog said.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED: City dismantling Wesley Street homeless encampment after fire

RELATED: ‘Disorder, conflict, violence, frequent overdoses’: Why Nanaimo tent city was dismantled



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Awards

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

The SRD is looking for volunteers for three Public Safety Lifeline Teams in the area. File photo
SRD looking for Public Safety Lifeline Volunteers

Emergency Support Services, Radio Communications and Animal Response volunteers all sought

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Fisheries and Oceans Canada fish-health audit at a farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. The BC Salmon Farmers Association is asking Ottawa for renewed discussions with stakeholders and First Nations to allow for an equitable agreement on the government-ordered departure from the Discovery Islands. (Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward photo)
B.C. salmon farmers request more time to leave Discovery Islands

DFO’s current deadline will lead to the cull of 10.7-million young fish

BC Hydro is replacing streetlights across the province, with Strathcona Regional District communities this week. (Submitted photo)
Streetlights to be replaced in SRD commuities

LEDs chosen for energy efficiency and to reduce glare

Economist Doug Blair who prepared the report for RIAS Inc., said that he found significant concern with the lack of consultation by Minister Bernadette Jordan, leading her to make a rushed decision without understanding the implications and seemingly no plan to manage impacts. (Supplied photo)
B.C. salmon farmers ask feds to reconsider decision based on new economic analysis

The independent report by RIAS Inc. estimates an annual loss of $390 million dollar cost to B.C.’s economy

B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix wore pink shirts to showcase this year’s motto: “Lift each other up.” (Twitter/PinkShirtDay)
PHOTOS: B.C. celebs take a stand against bullying on Pink Shirt Day

‘We need to let young people know they are not alone and they can reach out to others for help’

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Mowi Canada West salmon farm in B.C. waters. Conservative MPs have backed an industry call for further discussions on the timeline for closing Discovery Island farms. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada)
Conservative MPs back B.C. salmon farmers’ call for transparent discussions

Farm owners requested consultations, more time to leave Discovery Islands

Jack Barnes, who was Cowichan Valley Capitals property from May 2020 until last week, scores a goal for the Penticton Vees during the 2019-20 BCHL season. (Brennan Phillips/Black Press)
COVID-crunched BCHL facing trade deadline dilemma with its 20-year-olds

Hard decisions loom when BCHL may or may not resume play

UBC Okanagan students are among the most food insecure in Canada, according to a new study by UBC.
(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
UBC Okanagan students among most food insecure in Canada

42.3 per cent either can’t properly feed themselves, or are worried they will soon run out of money

A Nanaimo RCMP vehicle in the Woodgrove Centre parking lot. (News Bulletin file photo)
Woman groped by stranger in mall parking lot in Nanaimo

Incident happened near bus loop Saturday, Feb. 20, at about 4:45 p.m.

A 19-year-old man is in police custody following a recent violent robbery and assault in Comox . (File photo)
Arrest made in violent robbery and assault of Comox gas station employee

19-year-old man in police custody after incident where woman was putting things in her car

COVID cases in the Bella Coola Valley have dropped to just four active cases (file photo)
Expanding social circles fuelling North Island COVID-19 spike

Comox Valley COVID spike the result of ‘a series of multiple social gatherings’

Most Read