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Nighttime fire burns homeless camp on Napa River island

Nighttime fire burns homeless camp on Napa River island

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Napa Fire received a report at 3:20 a.m. Friday that vegetation was burning on a small island on the Napa River north of West Imola Avenue.

Firefighters used an aerial ladder to cross the narrow channel between the western shore and the island. They found a burning homeless camp with canisters of propane and other liquids exploding, said Capt. Erik Mortimore.

A search of the half-acre island turned up no occupants. In the interest of safety, firefighters decided to retreat and let the fire burn itself out, Mortimore said.

There was evidence of several encampments on the island, Mortimore said.

With temperatures Thursday night approaching freezing, the blaze may have been starting by someone's warming or cooking fire, he said.

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