Fire Department Reaches Out to Homeless Population; 4/16

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,243)

On Tuesday, April 16, the Portland Fire Department will be hosting a meeting to provide the homeless and their advocates with information cards and battery operated flameless candles in the  wake of the recent fire on West Commercial Street which took the life of Brian Barbour, 53, who was camping in the area.  The meeting begins at 11 am and is to be held at 5 Portland Street.

A fire on Saturday, April 6th claimed the life of Barbour when a candle he was using ignitied his tent at a makeshift camp along West Commercial Street.  Portland Fire Chief Jerome LaMoira says the tragedy highlights only one of the vulnerabilities Portland’s homeless population faces nearly every day:  “The homeless place themselves at great risk when using an open flame for heating and lighting.”

“This is a small but symbolic attempt to show the homeless inPortland that we care and want to provide real alternatives to an open flame in tents and makeshift shelters,” said  Chief Lamoira in a press release issued by the city yesterday.  Chief Lamoira has been on the job for almost four months.

For more background information, please visit Post # 1,239, dated 4/7/13 hereon.