Firefighters happened to be a couple blocks away when they saw the plume of smoke. They were checking out hot spots from a fire Sunday at an encampment on
“It's right there and it's really scary because it could just get to her house, get to her side, and anything could happen,” said Maisy Yang.
The fire department says homeless encampment fires are on the rise. There have been at least a dozen in 2013, including two within the last week. Small encampment fires like the one Monday are even more common: at least one a week.
“What we're really worried about is a fire is going to start in one while they're sleeping, and it's going to run though here before they can get out and it's going get people hurt,” said Koby Johns, spokesperson for Fresno Fire Department.
One homeless woman says with all the recent fires, she fears for her safety.
“I would try to call
The cause of many of these fires is undetermined. When arson is suspected, the fire department says it can be difficult to prove because of the conditions of the encampments.