Northern Centre of Hope fire put out in less than 10 minutes

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The City of Fort St. John Fire Department quickly responded to a structure fire Wednesday evening at the Salvation Army Northern Centre of Hope.

The fire on the building’s exterior was extinguished in less than 10 minutes with no impact on their operations.

The investigation into the fire was completed on August 18th, with the origin determined to be a makeshift wooden structure adjacent to the building.

There was no indication of heating sources or power to the structure.

This incident follows a meeting the Salvation Army hosted earlier this week with representatives from the City of Fort St. John, City of Fort St. John Fire Department, Fort St. John RCMP Detachment, Northern Health, and several other non-profit groups and organizations to discuss social issues in Fort St. John.

The city says many issues the community faces are experienced in communities across the province. However, they hope local solutions can address these challenges by bringing together various community groups.

According to the city, several initiatives are already ongoing to support people experiencing homelessness, such as the new supportive housing facility nearing completion and additional shelter capacity at the Salvation Army Northern Centre of Hope.

The recently launched Car 60 program has also provided enhanced support for those experiencing mental health issues.

The City of Fort St. John is reportedly inspecting encampments, such as the one outside the Northern Centre of Hope and providing education to service providers and vulnerable residents experiencing homelessness to prevent further incidents.

“Like many other communities across the province, Fort St. John is experiencing challenges across various social issues, such as addictions and homelessness,” stated Darrell Blades, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Fort St. John.

“We are grateful for the incredible work of our local non-profit groups, such as the Salvation Army, and will continue to work with local, provincial and federal stakeholders to address these issues. Further, thanks to the quick response by the on-duty crew, a catastrophic disaster was averted.”

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