Officials to educate homeless on fire hazards in tent and tarp encampments in Sudbury
There are serious concerns in Greater Sudbury about fire hazards and risks in the tent and tarp encampments around the city.
The Greater Sudbury Fire Service said fires and open flames are being used as heat sources but stress it’s not safe and poses many risks including carbon monoxide poisoning.
Greater Sudbury Fire Services confirmed it’s had several fire calls to the encampments in the city.
"They are using fires and open flame to stay warm and those tents are not designed to do that," said deputy chief Jesse Oshell.
"There is the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning. There is the potential for that fire to quickly spread to the tent for that material to melt around them if they potentially fall asleep inside the tent with a flame going."
The Homelessness Network said all the agencies working together have helped 30 people find homes in the last two months.
Although housing has been offered to some people living in the encampments, they still choose to live outdoors.
"They are settled into their tents or whatever structures they have built for themselves and they are just not ready for that conversation yet," said Ray Landry of the Homelessness Network.
"We keep connecting with them on a daily basis. By 'we' I mean the whole of the … homelessness serving sector, which is six to seven agencies working together with the city."
The Greater Sudbury Fire Service confirmed in the next few days it’s partnering with agencies that work with people living in the encampments to talk about safe ways to try to keep warm.