One person is dead after a camper van caught fire Thursday morning in Victoria's Beacon Hill Park. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

One person dead after vehicle fire in Victoria park

Investigation into Beacon Hill Park death in early stages

Michael Lockhart, 60, is dead after a vehicle fire in Beacon Hill Park Thursday morning. (Courtesy of Ryan Lockhart)

Police tape and a blue tarp shielded the public from the scene of deadly vehicle fire in Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park Thursday morning.

Family confirmed that Michael Lockhart, 60, died in the fire.

The Victoria Police Department was called to the park just after 8 a.m. for reports of a fire. When Victoria police arrived, firefighters were still working to extinguish the blaze.

Alex Painter was in his van Thursday morning when he heard banging.

“I saw some of the city workers hitting the side of the gentleman’s van over there and I saw some smoke coming out of the roof,” he said. “By the time I actually got outside of my vehicle to see what was going on the fire trucks had shown up and there were, quite literally, six-foot flames shooting out of the roof of his van.”

Major Crime Unit detectives, Forensic Identification Services and the BC Coroners Service were on scene investigating as others who call the park home learned what had happened.

READ ALSO: Fire rips through tents, wooden structures in Beacon Hill Park

Tweet

Friends of the man who died identified him as ‘Mike.’

“Very nice guy, older man,” said Nikki Skjonsby, who also lives in the park. Through tears, Skjonsby said the incident will reverberate in the community.

“He’s been living in his van here in the park way longer than I’ve been here. It’s family here. We all take care of another. You have to, when you’re living out here.”

William McDougall said his friend was living off a pension after a career as a sea merchant and trying to get housing.

“He really did want a place and he was always disappointed when it didn’t come through,” McDougall said. “He really missed having a shower and things like that.”

The death is the second in the park in just two days. On Wednesday, police were called to a sudden death near Cook and Douglas streets. That death is still under investigation.

READ: Victoria police seeking witnesses of sudden death in Beacon Hill Park

Tweet2


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

VicPDVictoria

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

Just Posted

The inside of the Campbell River Community Centre gymnasium has been marked off in order to facilitate the public flowing through the clinic as they receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell river Mirror
Leftover vaccines go into arms, not down the drain: Island Health

No unused COVID-19 vaccines are going to waste at the end of… Continue reading

Where urban and natural landscapes meet can be a very interesting place. The Museum at Campbell River and Greenways Land Trust are hosting a talk on Earth Day on that topic. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Where urban and natural meet

Earth Day talk looks at urban biodiversity

Ryan Rasmussen goes on a training run on Quadra Island. Photo supplied.
Quadra Island man to run 160 km to raise funds for alternative cancer care

‘I feel like I need to be in pain to raise the money… I can’t do something that’s easy’ — Ryan Rasmussen

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

Ali Ellsworth is passionate about doing her part for Mother Earth and can be seen eagerly and happily cleaning up garbage around her Holm Road neighborhood, on a regular basis. She is a contestant in the Second Annual Small Planet Clean-up . Photo contributed
Ali does her part for Mother Earth by cleaning up around her neighbourhood

The Small Planet Energy team are thrilled to introduce you to a… Continue reading

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

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

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards South Island film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man suspected of being involved in a stabbing. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to identify stabbing suspect who wielded rusty knife

Stabbing followed argument between two men at Port Place Shopping Centre April 1

Most Read