HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A fire broke out under the Mulberry Street Bridge on January 28.
This came less than a week after the City of Harrisburg started cleaning and exterminating the site of a homeless encampment. The city called it a public safety emergency because of crime and a rat infestation.
The city’s deadline for residents to leave the encampment was January 22, but nonprofits helping relocate residents said there are still about five people who have not moved. One of them had their living space damaged in the fire.
The fire happened Saturday afternoon. According to the Harrisburg Bureau of Fire, crews arrived and found part of a “fortified encampment” burning. They spent about 45 minutes working to put the fire out.
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Nonprofits like Christian Churches United (CCU) and Downtown Daily Bread have been helping to relocate residents. They say the situation is about the same as a week ago. A handful of people are still living under the bridge, even after the city’s deadline to vacate.
One of those residents had some things damaged during the fire, but nonprofits told abc27 they were able to get some of his possessions in storage over the last few weeks, so not everything was destroyed.
On Monday, several residents remained under the bridge, cleaning up some of the debris left after the fire. Nonprofits said they are still providing resources and CCU Executive Director Darrel Reinford said, “We continue to be available to assist those under the bridge should they want support in exploring other housing options.”
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abc27 also reached out to the city to find out whether it is still working to help relocate residents and where exactly things stand in the clean-up process, but did not receive a response.