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Organizations work to keep elderly, homeless safe during cold snap

Organizations work to keep elderly, homeless safe during cold snap

SAN ANTONIO – As South Texas dealt with an unusual cold snap, organizations worked to keep the elderly and the homeless safe and warm.

The San Antonio Fire Department confirmed homeless people set a fire to stay warm in the 2500 block of Guadalupe Street on Sunday night. SAFD said the flames ended up catching additional trash on fire and one man was critically burned. When News 4 San Antonio went back out to the location, a group of homeless men were burning anything they could find in a grill in hopes of staying warm.

The Salvation Army said reasons like that were why staff allows anyone to come inside the lobby to escape the cold when temperatures dip below 30 degrees.

"We want to make sure if someone comes in on nights that we're at full capacity, like tonight, that we at least offer them a blanket and an opportunity to stay in our Emergency Family Shelter lobby if they choose to do so," Brad Mayhar said.

Catholic Charities also called the elderly to make sure they were not using ovens and other unsafe ways to keep warm.

"We're making phone calls just to make sure they're doing okay at home because many of them live alone. They don't have anyone to support them and to help them,” Catholic Charities CEO Antonio Fernandez said.

Meteorologist predicted the cold weather will stick around for the next couple of days.

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