Homeless warming fires and potential threat to a business - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Homeless warming fires and potential threat to a business

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A business on Colorado Springs west side faced the threat of flames, also disruption of business because of a homeless camp fire getting out of control over the weekend. It is not the first time camp fires have been a concern to Angler's Covey staff,  but this is the first time the owner is speaking out. 

"A lot o us business owners are afraid to weigh-in on this because we have hearts, we want to care for these people, but at the same time we've got to be economically viable," said Owner, David Leinweber. His shop is a fly fishing and paddle sport business. The location is purposely along highway 24 because it's a gateway to the mountains. Then at the back is Fountain Creek which is an accent to these water related sports. Only homeless camping, and camp warming fires are increased under the 21st Street Bridge that crosses the creek.

Over the weekend a fire got out of control and burned up the creek banks and into the fence of another nearby business. If wind had been blowing the direction of Leinweber’s building, he says his business would have been “in danger.” There was an actual impact to operations because of the fire. "Our business went the whole day with no phone service and we had to run our entire internet off of cellular."

 "The city is paying attention and the city is concerned as well about fire risk," said Colorado Springs Homeless Response Coordinator, Andrew Phelps. City leaders working on homeless issues say more shelter space and resources for the homeless are helping, but there's more work to do. "This will take time" When not enough shelter beds are available on cold nights, warming fires are considered a human necessity. They say the issue of fires threatening and disrupting jobs and livelihood will now be part of the discussion.

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