PLEASANT HILL (KCBS) — A homeless man in Pleasant Hill suffered serious burns early Monday after his tent caught fire as he tried to warm himself with a candle.

Pleasant Hill police said a 56-year-old man was airlifted to the burn unit at the UC Davis Medical Center with severe burns to his legs, torso and arms. The temperature fell to 28 degrees at the time of the incident.

The man, whose name was not immediately released, told officers in the predawn hours that he had lit a candle inside his tent near Taylor Blvd. and Morello Avenue. Authorities said the tent caught fire and so did the man, who was found nude and lying on the sidewalk.

Homeless advocate Kia Croom said the homeless are suffering in the sometimes icy weather.

“The cold snap has been brutal and folks have been definitely been coming into the group program for services.”

Croom referenced the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program or GRIP, where she works.

“We’re able to house homeless families, but a lot of people want to know what happens to the unaccompanied homeless men and women. Well guess what? They’re coming to GRIP, our resource center and they’re trying to get booked into local shelters.”

She said there are definitely those who are falling through the cracks and they’re freezing on streets, in encampments and cars.

At the end of this month, a countywide homeless count will be conducted to help people who need services. Temperatures are expected to return to normal by Wednesday.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)


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