Barry Hornby, city bylaws officer, middle, is presented with an award for bravery by Jake Rudolph, Nanaimo chief administrative officer, left, and Mayor Leonard Krog at a city council meeting Monday. Hornby was recognized for his response after a fire broke out in a homeless encampment on Wesley Street earlier this month. (Photo courtesy City of Nanaimo)

Barry Hornby, city bylaws officer, middle, is presented with an award for bravery by Jake Rudolph, Nanaimo chief administrative officer, left, and Mayor Leonard Krog at a city council meeting Monday. Hornby was recognized for his response after a fire broke out in a homeless encampment on Wesley Street earlier this month. (Photo courtesy City of Nanaimo)

Nanaimo hero rushed into harm’s way as shelters burned and cannisters exploded

Barry Hornby recognized for actions in Dec. 3 fire at downtown homeless camp

Exploding propane tanks and fiercely burning shelters didn’t deter a Vancouver Island man from taking heroic action earlier this month, with lives potentially on the line.

Barry Hornby, a bylaw officer with the City of Nanaimo, was presented with an appreciation award of bravery for the role he played in getting people to safety when a fire broke out in a downtown homeless encampment destroying several tents and triggering explosions.

“(Hornby) rushed into the scene of the fiercely burning fire of tents and contents, with tanks exploding, and guided people in the immediate vicinity out of harm’s way,” Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said. “This situation could have been catastrophic had it not been for his actions and others’ [actions]. This is courage at its finest. I need also to convey that this is not in his job description as a bylaws enforcement officer.”

Hornby was presented with the award at a meeting of city council Monday by Krog and Jake Rudolph, the city’s chief administration officer. Krog noted that this was an unusual presentation.

“I’m not sure if this is something that’s happened in the city’s history, potentially,” the mayor said.

Krog recounted the event, noting it was a large, intense fire that completely destroyed a number tents with explosions that shook nearby buildings, and said there were fortunately no injuries among the occupants of the encampment or city staff, firefighters and other emergency personnel who attended.

The mayor thanked Hornby for his “extraordinary and selfless act of courage” and commended him for a “remarkable act of bravery without regard for your personal safety.”

Krog also took a moment to comment on accounts circulated in social media and “different versions of events” surrounding the fire and its aftermath.

“Whatever else may come out of the story of the fire on Dec. 3, there is no question about the behaviour, the courage, demonstrated by Barry Hornby and others who attended that scene and did their best to make that situation much less of a disaster than it could have been and ensured the safety of many people,” Krog said.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED: City dismantling Wesley Street homeless encampment after fire

RELATED: ‘Disorder, conflict, violence, frequent overdoses’: Why Nanaimo tent city was dismantled



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Awards

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

Just Posted

A rider crosses a “skinny” on the newly opened trail known as 90s Jank, built within the Hartland system by volunteers with the South Island Mountain Bike Society. (Youtube/MTB Matt)
Mountain bikers celebrate first new trail in years on Saanich’s Mount Work

90s Jank trail a product of licence agreement between CRD and mountain bike society

The hiring of out-of-province workers by the Canadian Red Cross to staff the vaccination centre in Langford has raised eyebrows. (Black Press Media file photo)
Red Cross hires out-of-province workers to staff Langford vaccination centre

Staffer worries local jobs weren’t offered to local people

Fire crews respond to the 3500-block of Blanshard Street in Saanich on April 16. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: BC Hydro crews repairing failed electrical equipment in Saanich

Vernon Avenue reopen to traffic following closure by Saanich firefighter, police

The District of Saanich announced April 12 that the Cedar Hill Golf Course clubhouse would remain closed for at least six months for repairs after a flood on Feb. 14 caused by faulty sprinklers. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Faulty sprinklers to blame for second Cedar Hill Golf Course clubhouse closure in just over a year

Saanich facility facing six-month shutdown for flood repairs, course not impacted

Auto thief in black balaclava trying to break into car with screwdriver. (Pixabay photo)
Sooke RCMP warns park users to keep valuables in vehicles out of sight

Spring weather draws more hikers out to rural parking lots, where thieves are at work

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Island woman on fence about vaccine prompted by brother’s death

Leela Harrop of Comox says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Photo by Metro Creative Connection
New campgrounds coming to B.C. parks as part of $83M provincial boost

This season alone, 185 campsites are being added to provincial parks, says Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Most Read