A good Samaritan paid for hotel rooms in Chicago for 70 homeless people who were sleeping in tents with no source of heat during the polar vortex

  • A group of 70 homeless people were put up in hotels in Chicago by an anonymous good Samaritan, the Salvation Army said.
  • The group had been camping in tents near Chicago’s University Village/Little Italy neighbourhood.
  • About 100 donated propane tanks they were using to keep warm were confiscated by the fire department on Wednesday, leaving them no way to keep warm.
  • That’s when the anonymous person stepped in and offered up the hotel rooms.

A good Samaritan paid for hotel rooms for 70 homeless people in Chicago after learning they were camping with no source of heat in the bitter cold.

Salvation Army spokeswoman Jacqueline Rachev told the Chicago Tribune that the 70 people had spent Tuesday night camping in tents near Chicago’s University Village/Little Italy neighbourhood.

They had been using 100 donated propane tanks to keep warm as temperatures sunk to minus 22 with a windchill of 49 degrees below zero on Wednesday morning.

But on Wednesday afternoon, one of the propane tanks exploded, and Chicago Fire Department Chief Walter Schroeder told the group not to use the tanks any longer.

“We responded to a fire,'” Schroeder told the Tribune. “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.”

Read more: The polar vortex ravaging the US with extreme cold has killed at least 11 people

He said that with the amount of propane tanks they had, an explosion could be “like a bomb going off.”

The fire department confiscated the tanks, and the Salvation Army started making plans to send the group to a warming center.

Soon after, however, they were notified that an anonymous donor offered to pay for the entire group to stay in a hotel on Chicago’s South Side.

“It’s a deadly situation for anyone,” Rachev told The Washington Post. “We’re thrilled that someone was in a position to be able to do this.”