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2 people dead in Saint John, N.B. homeless tent encampment fire

A fire truck is shown in the file photo. Andrew Cromwell/Global News File

Police in Saint John, N.B. say two people have died after a fire at a homeless tent encampment in the city.

Emergency crews responded to a fire at a tent near the 100-block of Paradise Row at around 3:41 p.m. Monday.

“After the fire was extinguished, two individuals were located deceased,” Saint John Police wrote in a release Monday night.

“Officers are working on establishing the identity of the deceased parties in order to notify next of kin.”

Major crime, forensic services and the coroner’s office have all been called in to investigate.

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Police say they are still trying to determine the cause of the fire and will release more details “as the investigation permits.”

“Investigators are appealing for witnesses or anyone in the area that has video footage or surveillance before, during, or after the fire occurred,” they add.

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A fire in January at a nearby encampment on the same street claimed the life of Evan McCarthur, 44. 

His mother, Heather McCarthur, told Global News a few days later that her son’s death was “a bigger story than Evan.” She visited the encampment after his death and said she was shocked by the living conditions there.

“It was horrific. Nobody could live like that, even without the fire,” she said, adding that more solutions are needed for those experiencing homelessness.

Click to play video: 'Residents concerned after tent fire breaks out in Saint John encampment'
Residents concerned after tent fire breaks out in Saint John encampment

Anyone with information about Monday’s fire is asked to call Saint John Police Force at 506-648-3333 or submit a tip anonymously through Crime Stoppers.

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