The Bloomingtonian

Second homeless camp catches fire; cat found alive

Members of the Bloomington Fire Department carry a cat they rescued after responding to a fire in a campsite in a wooded area in the 3600 block of W. Third Street, Thursday, January 23, 2020 in Bloomington, Ind. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
Members of the Bloomington Fire Department check a cat for injuries after responding to a fire in a campsite in a wooded area in the 3600 block of W. Third Street, Thursday, January 23, 2020 in Bloomington, Ind. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
Members of the Bloomington Fire Department reunite a cat with its owner after responding to a fire in a campsite in a wooded area in the 3600 block of W. Third Street, Thursday, January 23, 2020 in Bloomington, Ind. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
A man who said he is experiencing homelessness is reunited with his cat after fire in a campsite in a wooded area in the 3600 block of W. Third Street, Thursday, January 23, 2020 in Bloomington, Ind. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

A cat thought to be lost in a fire in a homeless camp on Bloomington’s west side was found alive by Bloomington Firefighters, and reunited with its owner, Thursday night.

The Bloomington Fire Department was called to the 3200 block of West Third for a vegetation fire, and upon arrival, found a raging fire in a campsite hundreds of feet across a muddy field. Firefighters were unable to put the fire out with extinguishers or get their truck to the location, and had to withdraw to a safe location as propane bottles, and other items exploded.

A man, who said he is experiencing homelessness cried as he sat in an alley surrounded by police. He said his pet cat was in his tent when the fire began.

Finally, a Bloomington Fire Department brush truck arrived to help put out the fire just as member of the Bloomington Fire Department found the scared cat. The cat was then checked for burns, and other injuries, but found to be uninjured.

The cat was then reunited with its owner, who said he no longer had food for the cat, but a member of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, who had responded to the scene with members of the Bloomington Police Department, said he would help the man get food for his cat.

The man said he lost his tent, sleeping bag, and other items in the fire.

Earlier around 5 p.m., another camp being used by people who are experiencing homelessness also caught fire nearby on N. Gates Drive.

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