One person is dead after a camper van caught fire Thursday morning in Victoria's Beacon Hill Park. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

One person dead after vehicle fire in Victoria park

Investigation into Beacon Hill Park death in early stages

Michael Lockhart, 60, is dead after a vehicle fire in Beacon Hill Park Thursday morning. (Courtesy of Ryan Lockhart)

Police tape and a blue tarp shielded the public from the scene of deadly vehicle fire in Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park Thursday morning.

Family confirmed that Michael Lockhart, 60, died in the fire.

The Victoria Police Department was called to the park just after 8 a.m. for reports of a fire. When Victoria police arrived, firefighters were still working to extinguish the blaze.

Alex Painter was in his van Thursday morning when he heard banging.

“I saw some of the city workers hitting the side of the gentleman’s van over there and I saw some smoke coming out of the roof,” he said. “By the time I actually got outside of my vehicle to see what was going on the fire trucks had shown up and there were, quite literally, six-foot flames shooting out of the roof of his van.”

Major Crime Unit detectives, Forensic Identification Services and the BC Coroners Service were on scene investigating as others who call the park home learned what had happened.

READ ALSO: Fire rips through tents, wooden structures in Beacon Hill Park

Tweet

Friends of the man who died identified him as ‘Mike.’

“Very nice guy, older man,” said Nikki Skjonsby, who also lives in the park. Through tears, Skjonsby said the incident will reverberate in the community.

“He’s been living in his van here in the park way longer than I’ve been here. It’s family here. We all take care of another. You have to, when you’re living out here.”

William McDougall said his friend was living off a pension after a career as a sea merchant and trying to get housing.

“He really did want a place and he was always disappointed when it didn’t come through,” McDougall said. “He really missed having a shower and things like that.”

The death is the second in the park in just two days. On Wednesday, police were called to a sudden death near Cook and Douglas streets. That death is still under investigation.

READ: Victoria police seeking witnesses of sudden death in Beacon Hill Park

Tweet2


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

VicPDVictoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Alberni Golf Club is located on Cherry Creek Road. FILE PHOTO
ALBERNI GOLF: Parhar picks up win in Partner with a Pro

Next Sunday, April 18 is a two man best ball

Two of the heritage buildings from McLean Mill National Historic Site that have been restored at the Port Alberni tourist attraction. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
McLean Mill application breaks new ground for ALC

Process just another ‘misstep’ by city, says critic

Coulson Aviation’s newest Chinook helicopter, N43CU, takes to the air above the Alberni Valley Regional Airport following a complete airframe conversion into a helitanker, April 8, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY BILL MCLEOD)
Coulson Aviation’s newest helitanker takes flight

Converted Chinook helitanker off to U.S. for new paint job

Dave Cusson, Community Policing Manager with the City of Port Alberni, offers some tips for pedestrian safety in a Community Policing video. (SCREENSHOT)
City of Port Alberni on way to dubious pedestrian safety record

Pedestrian crashes a growing concern in Port Alberni

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

(Amandalina Letterio - Capital News)
Kelowna demonstrators show support for Vancouver Island logging activists

Two Kelowna men stood atop a pedestrian bridge on Harvey Avenue to raise awareness about old-growth forests

City workers from Duncan were busy recently putting up street signs in both Hul’q’umi’num’ and English. (Submitted photo)
Hul’q’umi’num street signs installed in downtown Duncan

Partnership with Cowichan Tribes sees English street names twinned with Indigenous language

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

Homicide investigators who asked not to be identified put up signs Wednesday, April 14, along the Nanaimo Parkway in the area where a body was found March 31. RCMP are asking for witnesses or dash cam footage as the suspicious death has now been ruled a homicide. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Suspicious death along the highway in Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

RCMP identify victim as Randell Charles Thomas, repeat call for any information related to the case

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
WATCH: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read