A fire broke out at a homeless encampment near Marketplace Grill restaurant, on Skyline Drive, just before 4:30 p.m. Monday.
A homeless man’s tent caught fire after, what he believes, was a piece of Styrofoam landed on or near a candle he was burning, according to a Conway Fire Department incident report.
CFD was notified of the fire at 4:20 p.m. and on scene in six minutes. Upon arrival, firefighters noted “a homeless shelter [was] fully involved.”
Booster line was laid out in the woods behind Marketplace to help fight the fire as another unity responded near Grandview Heights to “hit the fire from the north side,” the report states.
According to the report, the fire was out by 5:20 p.m.
CFD indeed traced the heat source of the fire to a candle that was burning in the tent and found the resident unharmed.
“[The] resident was uninjured and stated he had a candle burning and a piece of Styrofoam must have fallen over on it,” according to the report. “We offered resident assistance and he refused.”
A volunteer left supplies for the man affected by the fire “at the bottom of the hill,” as seen in a video posted to Soul Food Café Mission Director Rick Harvey’s Facebook page Monday.
Referring to the man whose tent caught fire, the woman captured in the video said she was leaving supplies to a homeless man named Thomas.
“His whole area where he [lives] out in the woods burned,” she said. “He built himself a compound up there with pallets and tarps, things like that, and it all went up in flames today,” the woman said in the video.
The good Samaritain left the man tarps, a mat, water, blankets and a pillow. She also left two hats — one for Thomas and one for his dog, Rosie. She also left dog biscuits.
“He had nothing, and now he really has nothing, so we’re trying to get some stuff and leave it down here at the bottom of the hill,” she said. “He’ll come down and get it,” she explained.
According to the incident report, no other structure was affected by the fire and less than one acre was affected.