An unnamed Good Samaritan offered to pay the hotel bills for 70 homeless people in Chicago as the city faces record-breaking cold temperatures.
The people were reportedly camped out overnight in tents after their propane tanks were confiscated, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Chicago, which was expected to be colder than Antarctica, Alaska and the North Pole on Wednesday, saw temperatures as low as negative 25 degrees with wind chill of 49 degrees below zero.
The group set up a makeshift camp and had been using donated propane tanks for warmth when one exploded, Salvation Army spokeswoman Jacqueline Rachev told the Tribune.
The incident prompted the Chicago Fire Department to remove all the other tanks because they posed a hazard.
“We responded to a fire,” department Chief Walter Schroeder said. “When we got there, the fire was extinguished and they found all these propane cylinders. That’s when we escalated it to a Level I Hazmat.”
“There was a significant amount of propane there, and with that many cylinders, that’s like a bomb going off,” he added.
Rachev said she was notified by the city that an anonymous donor would pick up the hotel bill as she was preparing a makeshift warming center at the downtown Chicago Salvation Army.
“All the folks there, some wonderful citizen is going to put all of them up at a hotel for the rest of the week,” she said.
Only one person did not accept the offer, instead opting to stay at a warming center, the paper reported.
| By Owen Daugherty