Homeless man fatally burned in north Houston

January 8, 2010 9:03:20 PM PST
People all over Houston are doing things to stay warm. On Houston's north side, it cost one man his life. A homeless man was just trying to keep warm on a night that will see the temperature drop into the high teens. Eyewitnesses say between 5:30 and 6:00pm, a man in his 60's, known only as Mr. Robert, built a fire in his homemade shelter to keep warm. The man had several layers of clothing and police think his clothes may have accidentally caught fire. Eyewitnesses saw him rolling around on the ground and rushed to help him extinguish the flames but it was too late.

"(He) had constructed a shelter," Kevin Tolls with HPD said. "He had built a fire inside his shelter and somehow undetermined right now he caught fire."

"The guy that tried to put him out, he couldn't put him out," witness Cynthia Davis told Eyewitness News. "Evidently he must have had on some clothes that he couldn't get out of because he was old."

Police do not have a positive identification on the victim but do call his death an accident. They will let the Harris County Medical Examiner determine made the identification and determine a cause of death.