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Recurring homeless tent fires in LA raise urgent safety concerns

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A fire broke out in broad daylight at a homeless tent in LA Koreatown.

A recent spate of homeless tent fires has raised safety concerns, and solutions are urgently needed.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), a fire broke out in a homeless tent near 8th and Catalina streets at about 2:20 p.m. on February 28.

The fire didn’t spread to neighboring buildings, but the smoke from the fire made the neighborhood uncomfortable for a while.

The fire was particularly close to Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, where students and parents were also affected by the smoke as it happened to coincide with dismissal time.

Firefighters are cleaning up the site after extinguishing a fire at a homeless tent on 8th Street in LA Koreatown on February 28. [Kyeongjun Kim, The Korea Daily]

LAPD officers were the first to spot the flames. “I was on patrol and noticed the flames,” said Officer Claudia Segovia, who responded to the scene. “I called the local fire department and firefighters arrived and extinguished the fire.”

“The cause of the fire is still undetermined and there were no reported injuries,” Segovia added.

Firefighters from the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) arrived on the scene shortly after the fire broke out and extinguished the blaze within 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, homeless tent fires in Los Angeles continue to pose a threat to residents. The Los Angeles Times reported on February 25 that at least four fires have broken out in homeless tent camps along Franklin Avenue in Hollywood in the past three months. The area is particularly prone to fires, and residents of the neighborhood are reportedly worried.

In addition, there has been an increase in human waste, drug use, and violence among the homeless, indicating that there is an urgent need to take preventive actions.

BY KYEONGJUN KIM, JUNHAN PARK    [kim.kyeongjun1@koreadaily.com]