June 19, 2019

Fire destroys lean-to used by homeless

BANGOR — One of Bangor’s homeless residents was left shelterless Thursday when his makeshift lean-to went up in flames.

Late Thursday afternoon, businesspeople spotted smoke coming from a campsite next to railroad tracks on the east side of the railroad bridge behind Penobscot Plaza, and alerted the Fire Department.

Assistant Fire Chief Scott Bostock said the call came in at 4:35 p.m., and the Fire Department sent a truck. Firefighters found a cardboard shack smoldering. They pulled the shack apart and wet down the area, extinguishing the fire.

Firefighters at the scene thought the fire might have been started by a cigarette.

Neighbors said that a homeless man had lived at the site all winter and another person was camped out farther down the tracks.

People from the city welfare department had been unable to get the men to leave their campsites, even during the coldest weather.

All that remained of the shelter was a few charred pallets in the center of a thicket of alders. Clothing and trash were scattered around the area.

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