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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Homeless campfire explodes, injuring at least one

This fire at a homeless encampment grew to about 20 square feet after a campfire exploded Tuesday evening, Deputy Fire Chief Jay Atwood said.   (Courtesy Lydia Olmstead)
This fire at a homeless encampment grew to about 20 square feet after a campfire exploded Tuesday evening, Deputy Fire Chief Jay Atwood said.  (Courtesy Lydia Olmstead)

A homeless encampment had an explosion Tuesday night after someone threw aerosol cans on a fire there, according to the Spokane Fire Department.

Around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, firefighters responded to a wooded riverbank near North Waterworks Street and East Surro Avenue, said Deputy Fire Chief Jay Atwood.

Atwood said someone around the fire had thrown some aerosol cans on it, causing the explosion. A man nearby suffered burns to his leg and was transferred to the hospital, Atwood said.

The fire grew to about 20 square feet and ate up low-lying brush below the trees, Atwood said. Three engines responded but split their efforts between fighting the fire and treating the injured man, he said.

“This was a pretty unique situation,” Atwood said, “but campfires that escape as the summer progresses is pretty common.”

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