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HomeNewsIsland & CoastBlaze on Commercial Street caused by drugs, Nanaimo Fire 

Blaze on Commercial Street caused by drugs, Nanaimo Fire 

Nanaimo Fire says the cause of a fire that evacuated businesses in the 60 block of Commercial Street was the result of a fire caused by a homeless man in the stairwell of the parking garage. 

Fire officials say a homeless man who was lighting drugs had his clothing catch on fire, and that was the result of the blaze that broke out yesterday afternoon around 2 p.m. 

There was no damage to the businesses in the area, but one had to be aired out because of smoke.  

Witness Rose says fire alarms are a reoccurring event and no one gave it urgency in the beginning. 

“We didn’t evacuate because smoking in the stairwell is a common occurrence,” she says. “It wasn’t until an officer told us, ‘There is an actual fire’ that we evacuated.” 

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One homeless man suffered severe burns to his legs, arms, and neck and was transported to Nanaimo Regional Hospital where he is expected to recover. 

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