Richmond firefighters extinguish encampment blaze before it could spread to homes

Five people displaced in two-alarm fire on S. 47th Street
A Richmond Fire Department engine. (File photo)

Richmond firefighters’ quick action on battling a fire at a homeless encampment on Tuesday helped protect nearby homes from damage, according to Richmond Firefighters Local 188, the union that represents city firefighters.

The RFD responded to the encampment located between Interstate Highway 80 and the 300 block of 45th Street at about 9 p.m.

“The flames were immediately threatening multiple homes,” according to Local 188. “With quick work and assistance from E64, our members were able to control the flames in approx. 10-15 min.”

Crews remained at the scene for another hour to extinguish hot spots.

“Due to their immediate action, there were no injuries or significant damage to nearby homes, except for fences,” stated Local 188, adding, “Our members are working hard as ever to proudly protect the City of Richmond.”

Richmond firefighters have been kept busy by encampment fires. Aside from regular responses to encampments in the areas of Castro and Hensley streets and Rydin Road, this past weekend the RFD responded to a small encampment fire on Vernon Avenue that spread to adjacent vegetation.

On Sunday, Local 188 reported a “busy as usual” few days “with multiple debris, encampment and abandoned vehicle” fires in the city.