So many ignition sources including drug paraphernalia and other smoking materials were found at the scene of a sanctioned homeless tent city that the Denver Fire Department just chalked up the cause as undetermined.
That’s according to KDVR, which reports the potential fire hazards found on the scene also included propane space heaters, electrical fans, hot plates, and cooking grills.
The personal belongings along with 16 tents went up in flames at the campsite in the Denver Health parking lot on N. Elati Street.
Fire investigators said employees with the site operator, The Colorado Village Collaborative, could not provide any information regarding who occupied which tents. Also, none of the residents sleeping on site would confirm who was living in the tent where the fire started.
Fire investigators also did a neighborhood survey, but no one had “useful information” according to the report.
At some point in the future, the public will want to judge the safety of these homeless tent cities the city council is funding with their tax dollars.
We imagine a Freedom of Information Act to the fire department will pass right over this dangerous incident because the cause will be marked as undetermined, rather than the likely result of numerous ignition sources including drug paraphernalia and unsafe heaters and cooking sources.
FOX31 was already ahead of the game and sought information on fires at homeless camps throughout the city. Just this year, the fire department responded to 227 fires, the causes of which were, uhm, not mentioned.
The CVC’s pledge to learn from this incident is not very reassuring, seeing as how this was the fire department’s third trip to the camp, where police have also responded to 35 calls that included assaults, burglary and welfare checks since the camp opened last year.
Instead of subsidizing dangerous homeless camps and an alternative lifestyle that puts lives in danger, Denver needs to refocus on getting homeless folks off the streets, not into more tents.