St. Louis premiere homeless person shanty town Hopeville, which we’ve covered before, is under city pressure again. The city thinks the current Hopeville installation is a fire hazard after three tents burned last week.
In the fire last week, one tent caught fire, and witnesses said it spread to at least two others. A few propane tanks that were being stored in the first tent exploded. While a propane heater was being used in the tent, it was unclear how the fire started.
The heat from the fire was so intense that it melted part of a portable bathroom nearby and damaged a disabled Metro bus that is being used by some of the homeless to store clothes.
Though no injuries occurred, once again, the city is giving the evil eye to Hopeville of the incident. Also, if you have a bus, maybe the homeless could sleep in the bus and store your clothes in the tents. Just a thought.
“Since there was a fire, we really need to determine what can be done to make sure those folks don’t have a subsequent fire,” [Bill Siedhoff, director of the St. Louis Department of Human Services] said. “With the open fires that are burned in pits, an open flame like that and tents haphazardly strewn about, that presents a concern.”
If the city wanted to, they could pull their “fire hazard” red card and close the current Hopeville location down like they did a last April with the Tucker bridge location. Hopefully it won’t come to that.
Jeff Rainford, chief of staff for Mayor Francis Slay, said he is going to meet with the fire chief and Bryson this week to hear what they think.
“It’s not our intention to break up the place,” Rainford said. “With Hopeville, what we’ve said all along is, ‘No harm, no foul.’ If they’re not hurting anybody, more power to them.”
“…also a little fire now and then to burn off the stink isn’t a bad thing.” Nah, he didn’t say that. But could you imagine?! OMG.