Concerns about fire hazards at homeless encampment in Sudbury
A local businessman and landlord, as well as a non-profit in downtown Sudbury, have had some troubling fire experiences this week.
One said people living in the homeless encampment in Memorial Park are lighting fires for warmth and using flammables for drug use are putting lives at risk.
Rob Cloutier is the custodian at Independent Living Sudbury Manitoulin.
Cloutier said on two occasions this week, he had to ask an unwanted man to leave the basement area of the building and then made a troubling discovery.
“I discovered about a hundred matches burnt," he said. "Wooden matches and just the regular matches … And then we had boxes downstairs and we ended up having to take them and put them in. We were scared that he was going to burn the place down.”
Cloutier said he found a pipe after the man left.
“I don’t know what kind of pipe it was, but I know he must have been trying to burn something that’s why we just asked him to leave, we are just nervous, we are scared,” he said.
He said the incident was reported to police.
Just down the street, businessman and landlord Tony Monteleone said he’s worried about people lighting fires to keep warm in the alcoves and the alley near his building.
“My concern is I have 40 tenants plus guests up in this building," Monteleone said. "My concern is that they are going to burn this beautiful building historic building down.”
Monteleone said he cleans up messes in the alcoves of his building every morning and is extremely worried about the safety of everyone downtown.
“I have four commercial tenants which I am concerned for their businesses and safety," he said. "If something happens in the middle of the night – because this is when they are starting the fires -- it might be too late before the fires are noticed."
Greater Sudbury Police said it doesn't track specific reports of things like loitering, lighting fires and using flammable items.
It said those are not incidents where officers are dispatched.