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Fire near Colorado Springs business enters city council discussion on homeless warming fires

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

Smartphone video of a wildfire caused by a homeless warming fire is now part of discussion among city leaders in Colorado Springs. The owner of Angler’s Covey, David Leinweber was motivated to take part in the civic process after the fire broke out dangerously close to his business. “I came to really talk about the component that I felt was missing the most, is really addressing the business community who have to deal with this,” said Leinweber. He decided to make a first ever appearance before city council to make citizen comment and show the video.

It turns out there was another discussion about fires at homeless camps at working lunch involving the Mayor, City Council, and Fire Chief. When Leinweber called looking for information about addressing council, he learned he could observe the lunchtime discussion as well.

City leaders had many questions and comments on the issue during the lunch. Fire Chief, Ted Collas made it clear, most of the warming fires are illegal. "Any fire that is within 25 feet of combustible [material], is an illegal fire in Colorado Springs and will be extinguished."

City Council President, Richard Skorman asked Leinweber to comment. Skorman said he is aware of many constituents contacting him about the issue. “It's a problem we have to address and it's certainly in my district, so I'm very concerned about it."

Leinweber’s official comments were only three minutes. He says, informally, the Fire Chief and many council members talked to him one-on-one. He also says he will continue adding his voice to discussion of this discussion. "It's become a very complicated issue and I think businesses kind of have to engage with that, and as an entrepreneur group, that we are, come up with great solutions, because we need to have a heart."

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