Fire Department warns about homeless heating after fires

Ask community to not drop off combustible fuel

***Photos from Fire Department inspection

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Chattanooga firefighters say people trying to help the homeless are actually fueling fires in their camps.

They say a recent fire consumed two makeshift structures built from old pallets and tents.

When they visited the encampments, they found more than 80 propane tanks.

“As a result of these dangerous conditions, fire officials are stepping up regular checks of encampments in order to prevent more dangerous fires.”

They are asking the public not leave these items at the camps because of the dangers:

  • Unpermitted or unsafe structures
  • Weapons
  • Drugs or poisons
  • Combustible or explosive items
  • Expired food

Instead, they hope you will donate canned goods to the community kitchen, camping supplies to the Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition and furniture to the Chattanooga Furniture Bank.

Fire officials also suggest volunteering through the Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition or make a donation.

“Dangerous, flammable structures and combustible propane tanks are a deadly combination, and we call upon all well-meaning residents to avoid making a bad situation worse by bringing these materials to any encampment,” said Chattanooga Fire Chief Phil Hyman. “Combustible objects and flammable structures not only pose a danger to our homeless residents and the surrounding community, but also imperil our first responders.”

Categories: Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Local News