Man suffers burns from fire at homeless camp

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An investigator at the scene where a man was found with severe burns to his body. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

MANCHESTER, NH – A man who suffered burns on over 50 percent of his body at a homeless encampment was taken to a Boston hospital early Monday morning.

Manchester Fire and AMR ambulance responded to a report of a burn victim on Valley Street between Beech and Union streets Monday just before 6 a.m. Responding units found a man whose clothes had been on fire and he was moving away from the firefighters and medics.

The man, 38, had been living in a small encampment inside buses on the 7-Eleven parking lot at Beech and Valley Street, according to fire officials.

The victim was treated at the scene and initially transported to Elliot Hospital with what appeared to be serious and life-threatening injuries. He was moved to a Boston hospital.

An encampment in a wooded area near the 7-Eleven at Beech and Valley streets. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

Manchester police were called to the scene, and a large area of the southeast end of the parking lot was taped off.

Manchester Fire department Fire Marshal’s office had two investigators at the scene. A Manchester Fire Department accelerant-detecting K9 was brought in to search the area. Detectives documented the scene and placed the person’s belongings into evidence bags.

The area between some trees has been cleared to make room for several people to live in the space. Clothes, food, and blankets could be seen inside the tree line.

After several hours the crime scene tape was removed, and investigators will be following up with the person involved.

One person who did not want to be identified said the man had been using a small amount of gasoline to stay warm and that he accidentally ignited his clothes. He ran out of the tree line to get help.

No official cause of the fire and injuries have been released at this time.

Matches and burned items at the scene of a fire at a homeless encampment where a man’s clothes caught fire. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings