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

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

UPDATED: One person dead after vehicle fire in Beacon Hill Park

Investigation into Victoria 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 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 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.”

Ryan Lockhart confirmed it was his brother, Mike, who died in the fire.

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

“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


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

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
AstraZeneca vaccine appointments fill up fast on Vancouver Island

More pharmacies expected to be added as supply increases

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 exposure at Pacific Christian Elementary School on April 12. (Google Streetview/Screenshot)
COVID-19 exposure reported at Saanich elementary school

Pacific Christian Elementary School experienced exposure on April 12

Students from Cedar Hill Middle School play and hold a sign to protest proposed music cuts to school band programs in the Greater Victoria School District, during a Monday event. The district is facing a massive deficit and is considering a number of options for cutting costs. (Photo courtesy Laura Alcaraz-Sehn)
Massive student demonstration planned to protest Greater Victoria school band cuts

Band students from 15 SD61 schools will be at major intersections Thursday after school

A Damen Fast Ferry 3209. BC Ferries are considering buying five of the vessels. (Courtesy of Damen)
CRD transportation committee wants study on West Shore to Victoria ferry

Passenger ferry could reduce traffic congestion, boost transit ridership in Greater Victoria

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Barney Williams says he’s been committed to ensuring no other member of the roster had a similar experience

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Have rising prices caused you to give up hope of buying a home?

Do you have a spare 50 grand or so kicking around (have… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Ambulance crews have been busy with a record number of emergency overdose calls this Wednesday, April 21. (BC Emergency Health Services)
B.C. paramedics responded to a record 138 overdose calls in a single day

Wednesday’s calls included 48 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 51 in Fraser Health

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. COVID-19 hotspots targeted as AstraZeneca vaccine runs low

17,000 appointments booked the first day for people aged 40 and up

B.C. Ferries’ sixth Island-class vessel launches at Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania. The ship is the second of two that will service the Nanaimo-Gabriola Island route starting in 2022. (Photo submitted)
Second hybrid ferry for Nanaimo-Gabriola route launched overseas

Island-class vessel will enter service in 2022

Dresses hang outside Nelson city hall as part of the REDress Project by Métis artist Jaime Black. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
B.C. red dresses symbolizing missing, murdered Indigenous women vandalized a 2nd time

Nelson’s REDress Project was vandalized along with an outdoor installation on Vancouver Island

A nurse loads a syringe with a vaccine for injection at the Victoria Clipper Terminal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout not enough to bring back normal life by fall: report

Only 51% of the population will be protected under B.C.’s current rollout, SFU professors say more vaccinations are needed to achieve herd immunity

Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
UPDATED: Second-degree murder conviction stands for Abbotsford school killer

Judge finds that Gabriel Klein is criminally responsible for death of Letisha Reimer

Most Read