A shack owned by Canadian Pacific Railway was being lived in by a homeless man who accidentally started a fire in it early Thursday morning.

Nelson squatter injured in fire

Man lived in a shake on Canadian Pacific Railway land

A homeless man was injured Thursday morning when the shack he was squatting in caught fire.

The 41-year-old male walked about a kilometre from his makeshift home on Canadian Pacific Railway land near the west end of Lakeside Drive to the Prestige Lakeside Report to get help.

He was transported to Kootenay Lake Hospital and treated for second degree burns on his lower body and hands.

Nelson Fire Chief Simon Grypma said the man was sleeping when the fire broke out, and he attempted to put out the fire himself before seeking help.

“The shack he was living in was inherently unsafe and didn’t have a smoke alarm,” Grypma said.

The building, which was not in active use by CPR, was badly damaged on the inside. Two structures on either side of it were undamaged.

From the contents inside the shack, it appeared the man had been living there for sometime. He had a military cot, a television, a small collection of movies, cooking supplies and a space heater. He brought power into the building with an extension cord.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and, according to Grypma, considered suspicious.

“We’re taking the investigation very seriously, particularly because there was an injury,” Grypma said.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact the fire hall at 250-352-3103.



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