SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Fire took over a homeless encampment along Tangerine Road in South Sacramento on Monday, and to make matters worse, it damaged a nearby natural gas line, compromising the nearby community.
Flames engulfed the bottom of a bridge after a fire broke out, complicated by an exposed natural gas line. According to Pacific Gas and Electric, it appears that the fire and exposed pipe were caused by someone digging up the ground.READ MORE: 'I Have No Words': Hero's Family Speechless As He's Receives Carnegie Medal
“It was like burning tires. I was just starting work and all of a sudden there was smoke everywhere,” said Lakhwinder Singh, who lives nearby.
Singh said fires under this bridge are becoming a common occurrence for neighbors.
CBS13 obtained video from last week showing a fire under the same Tangerine Road bridge.
“When you have people living down there and that are doing some sorts of activities that intentionally or accidentally start fires, you can have these types of incidents,” said Keith Wade, a spokesperson with the Sacramento Fire Department.
Wade said in the last 48 hours, the department has responded to 25 fires at or near homeless encampments.READ MORE: Assemblyman Says Local Tribes Will Help Design Native American Memorial At State Capitol
“It is frustrating,” Singh said. “I think the city needs to do more to work towards homelessness.”
CBS13 reached out to the City of Sacramento regarding the Monday morning fire that broke out at this homeless encampment. They wrote:
“The Sacramento City Council is actively working on a city-wide master plan to increase housing solutions for people experiencing homelessness.”
Some solutions may include organized outdoor camping, shelters, and permanent supportive housing. But for residents, those solutions can’t come soon enough.
“We don’t have any hot water or anything like that,” Singh said. “A lot of lives could have been lost because the apartment complex is right next to the bridge, so it could have been a lot more devastating.”MORE NEWS: Thousands In Attendance For Return Of California Capital Airshow
Sacramento Fire says the gas line that caught fire was already exposed before the fire was set, luckily agencies were able to contain the damage that they say could have been a lot worse.