Witnesses say a candle started a early morning fire that severely burned a man inside a tent at Olympic Plaza.

The incident no doubt puts an exclamation point on the city's plan to remove the camp on Wednesday at noon.

Fire crews say it was about 1:30 a.m. when the tent caught on fire, but when they arrived, the tent was smoldering and the victim had been pulled out.

Another man who tried to help also received burns.

Both men are in hospital in stable condition. 

Chris Beggs, another camper, says the victim is in shock. "He's got some pretty significant burns to his hands where he tried to push the nylon away. The nylon lit up and was gone within three to five seconds."

On Tuesday, protesters were given a 24 hour notice to vacate the park after bylaw officers combed Olympic Plaza, issuing tickets and removing unoccupied tents.

There's no telling what will happen when that notice runs out at noon on Wednesday.

Bill Bruce says that they are being clear with protesters. "The next step is to bring it before the courts to make a decision. When you're talking about a charter argument, it is really the court that makes that decision, not us."

Ward 4 councillor Gael MacLeod says the protest has been very difficult for the city to deal with. "I think at some point the tents need to go, but I'm also very cognizant of the issues around that and we don't want to see anybody hurt."

Protesters say that city officials don't care about the people. "Oh, here's your eviction notice and have a nice day – that's what they said to us. They don't care about the people, they just want more money in their pocket," said James Bulloch.

Bill Bruce says that the city doesn't want violence and neither do the protesters. "You're not going to see an escalation of violence."

More details are on the News at Noon.