City aims to improve safety after 4 fire-related deaths in Edmonton’s homeless community – Edmonton | Globalnews.ca


The City of Edmonton says it is working with its partners to increase safety for the city’s most vulnerable after four people have died of homelessness in fire-related situations in the past two months.

The latest death occurred on Wednesday morning, when the body of a man was found in an abandoned building after a fire broke out in the Macaulay neighborhood. Fire crews were called to the building at the corner of 95th Street and 106th Avenue shortly after 4 a.m.

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In a press release noon Friday, the city said there have been four fire-related deaths this fall among homeless people. The other three have occurred in the past two months and include a person who gained access to a former home downtown, someone the city said intentionally got inside a closed garbage collection bin and an individual seeking shelter in a campground.

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“This is a tragedy,” said Rob McAdam, the fire chief’s deputy for public safety.

“The safety of all Edmonton citizens is, and remains, our top priority at Edmonton Fire Rescue. Homeless individuals face unique fire hazards. The fire rescue team and our community partners must develop prevention efforts to ensure optimum safety for all Edmonton residents.”

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According to the city, there are currently about 2,800 people in the city without a permanent home. About 1,200 of these people sleep outside or in shelters on any given night.

Those who live on the streets of Edmonton may seek shelter in campgrounds, abandoned buildings, or other structures, which can be dangerous.

The city said it is working with several outside partners to develop ways to improve fire safety for at-risk Edmontonians.

Edmonton Fire Rescue is also working on ways to reduce accidents involving fires on vacant properties.

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