A Discontent City resident in Nanaimo suffered burns and lost her possessions after her tent caught fire this afternoon. Image from submitted video

Woman suffers burns in tent fire at Vancouver Island homeless camp

Fire occurred just after 3 p.m. Thursday at Nanaimo’s Discontent City

A tent city resident suffered burns and lost her possessions after her tent caught fire this afternoon.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue was called to the Discontent City homeless camp Thursday at 3:10 p.m., but the fire was knocked down by bystanders with fire extinguishers before firefighters arrived.

Alan Millbank, fire prevention officer, said a woman suffered second- or third-degree burns to her hand. She was treated at the scene by B.C. Ambulance Service paramedics before she was taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

“It appears that the patient was lighting a substance in a pipe and I guess she was kind of sleep deprived and she ignited some of the material in her bedding, which was synthetic, and it took off,” Millbank said. “Luckily there was some people with fire extinguishers nearby that extinguished the fire quite rapidly and crews responded to aid her.”

Millbank said the woman’s tent was destroyed and she lost all of her possessions in the fire.

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