Fire in Homeless Camp "Severely Burns" Two

6 years 5 months 3 days ago Wednesday, January 18 2012 Jan 18, 2012 Wednesday, January 18, 2012 12:58:00 PM CST January 18, 2012 in News
By: Meghann Mollerus
loading

COLUMBIA - A tent fire at a homeless camp late Tuesday night leaves two people recovering from serious burns at University Hospital.  Just before midnight, Columbia firefighters responded to the America's Best Value Inn Motel on Providence Road, where they found a man with serious burns in the lobby.  

The motel's clerk on duty, Charlie Kious, said he did not make the initial call for help.  David Shankle, a motel guest staying in a room near the lobby, said officers were at the motel for only five minutes before heading across the street to Vandiver Drive.  That's where they found, at the back of the parking lot, a badly-burned woman in the back of a shed.  Columbia Fire Captain John Metz said an ambulance arrived within five minutes to treat both burn victims.  The shed is bordered by woods, where officers speculate there is a temporary homeless camp.

Investigators have not released the victims' names but the 40-year-old man and the 30-year-old woman are being treated at University Hospital.  Metz said he is unclear of their relation to each other.  However, he did say the two were "seriously burned."  Lieutenant Debbie Sorrell of Columbia Fire has launched an investigation into the incident and was at the hospital Wednesday interviewing the victims.  

Metz said for now, he cannot speculate on the cause of the tent fire. However, Shankle, who said he used to be homeless and live in an outdoor camp in Columbia, suggested the fire was most likely an accident. "Most [homeless] guys are street smart.  They know you're not supposed to set a fire close to a tent, but it was pretty breezy last night.  If you didn't keep warm, you would have froze to death last night," he said.

Shankle said despite Columbia's homeless shelters, many homeless individuals in the area continue to sleep outside, even in winter's most frigid temperatures. He said, "Shelters get full. Absolutely, it's a given.  I know guys who have gone into treatment just to stay warm."

Major Kendall Mathews, Regional Coordinator for the Salvation Army of Mid-Missouri, said there is plenty of room at the local shelters.  The Salvation Army Harbor House on Ann Street has 15 "cold cot" beds, in addition to the rooms provided for individuals and families who have opted to enter the shelter's work program.  Mathews said when the 15 beds are full each night, the shelter refers people to the other shelters in Columbia or the Jefferson City Salvation Army shelter, to which transport is provided. 

Mathews said the tent fire perhaps can be a turning point for battling homelessness in Mid-Missouri.  "I think that this incident should pull our resources together from different other human service agencies here in Columbia and Mid-Missouri. Let's talk about this. Maybe we should have an open workshop or open forum here at the Salvation Army where we talk about what the issues are with the homeless people here in the community. Maybe we invite the homeless people [and ask] how can we help you? That's something we will pursue." 

KOMU will provide updated information about the condition of the victims and the determined cause of the fire when it becomes available. 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - A statewide campaign encourages expecting mothers to monitor their infant's movement in the womb. The Missouri... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, June 22 2018 Jun 22, 2018 Friday, June 22, 2018 4:14:00 AM CDT June 22, 2018 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - After months of tension between citizens and city officials, the city council met for the first time... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 9:30:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
AUXVASSE - Police in Auxvasse posted a warning on Facebook Wednesday about unlicensed salesmen in the area, but the company... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:15:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri is changing some of its rules and regulations to offer more leave and layoff... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:34:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Supreme Court ruling that allows states to charge online retailers sales tax has Columbia businesses rejoicing. ... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 5:18:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A judge has decided in favor of University of Missouri graduate students who want to unionize. The... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:37:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
HUNTSVILLE – A man accused of killing a Moberly woman five years ago is found guilty of murder in the... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:01:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in Top Stories
WASHINGTON - Gov. Mike Parson met with President Donald Trump Thursday to discuss Missouri's top priorities. “I appreciate President... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 3:51:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri mental health advocates showed up at a meeting Thurday to voice their concerns about budget cuts... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 3:32:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Although "Shwe Market International Foods" mainly sells Asian products and "Chihuahua Mexican Market" Hispanic products, both stores have... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 2:34:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU has appointed Latha Ramchand as provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. She was dean... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 2:01:00 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man and woman Wednesday after a reported robbery with a gun earlier in the week.... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 12:00:35 PM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
PINEVILLE (AP) — A husband and wife from southwestern Missouri have been ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution for cashing... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 10:22:42 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Fashion designer Kate Spade will be buried Thursday in Kansas City, where she was born.... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:36:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The black bear population in Missouri is growing, and with the growth comes an increased chance for a... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:19:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MU received a one million dollar grant as part of an inclusive initiative from the Howard Hughes Medical... More >>
22 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:18:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
NEW YORK - All Mizzou fan's eyes are on the NBA draft, which begins Thursday night, and who will pick... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 7:09:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Last week, a giant dust storm on Mars took up about a quarter of the Red Planet. Now,... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, June 21 2018 Jun 21, 2018 Thursday, June 21, 2018 4:26:00 AM CDT June 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 65°
7am 65°
8am 67°
9am 69°
10am 69°