One person is dead after being found burning in a shopping cart in downtown Vancouver early Friday morning.
The body was found at Davie Street and Hornby Street around 4:30 a.m. PT.
Patrons at a nearby all-night coffee shop said just minutes before, a homeless man wearing a blanket had run into the shop screaming that somebody was on fire.
But witnesses say he was ignored by the staff and patrons for two or three minutes because there had been a number of incidents involving homeless people fighting and yelling in and around the coffee shop earlier.
Eventually one woman in the coffee shop went out to look and spotted the flames about a block and a half away, witnesses said.
Someone called 911, but the firefighters arrived too late to save the person.
Victim may be 7-Eleven door-opener
Neither police nor firefighters have commented on what might have caused the fire or who the person might have been, but arson investigators were on the scene.
But Judy Graves, the co-ordinator of the tenant assistance program for the City of Vancouver, said she believed the victim was a homeless woman who would frequently stand outside a nearby 7-Eleven store opening the door for customers.
Graves said staff at the store told her the woman had lit candles in an attempt to keep warm.
The death comes during a weeklong cold snap gripping much Canada.
Temperatures plunged to –8 C overnight in Vancouver, with the wind chill making it feel like –13, driving many homeless people to emergency shelters overnight.
Graves, who has been an advocate for the homeless for over two decades, speculated the woman might have chosen to remain on the streets during the cold snap because many shelters do not allow street people to bring their shopping carts inside for the night.
A new shelter that will allow shopping carts is scheduled to open within days, said Graves.
yes I know that was hateful, that's why I said it..... but it is a pretty bad story. If it was an accident, then it's a pretty sh*tty one, and if it was done on purpose and the person was murders, someone's one sick puppy.