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As Chicago freezes, an anonymous good Samaritan pays for 70 homeless residents to stay in a hotel

Temperatures in Chicago have dropped well below zero

Scott Olson/Getty Images

As Chicago is hit with temperatures colder than 20 degrees below zero, a good Samaritan has paid for 70 of the city's homeless residents to stay in a hotel.

What's the story?

As temperatures in Chicago continue to stay well below zero, the city's homeless struggle to keep warm. The situation is so critical now that Chicago's largest homeless shelter has taken in 800 people, well over its capacity limits, to keep them out of the cold. But even then others remain out in the elements.

At one particular homeless camp in the city, people had used 100 donated propane tanks to generate heat. But when one of these tanks exploded, the Chicago Fire Department decided that the safest course of action was to remove all of them.

"We responded to a fire," Chicago Fire Department Chief Walter Schroeder told the Chicago Tribune. "When we got there, the fire was extinguished and they found all these propane cylinders. That's when we escalated it to a Level I Hazmat.

"There was a significant amount of propane there, and with that many cylinders, that's like a bomb going off." he added.

After the propane tanks were gone, the city of Chicago tasked the Salvation Army with creating a warming station near the camp. Removing the tanks removed the risk of explosion, but had also removed the most effective way the homeless population had for keeping warm.

That's when an unknown good Samaritan stepped in.

What happened next?

Within an hour of the city asking the Salvation Army to help out, someone had paid for all 70 residents of the camp to stay in a hotel on the South Side of Chicago. The donor refused to take credit for his generous offer and chose to remain anonymous.

Only one resident turned down the offer. The Tribune reported that this man had gone to the Salvation Army's warming center.

One last thing…
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