The homeless crisis in Southern California has become a serious problem for not only the homeless, but also the community living among them. And now, the vagrants are even stopping firefighters from being able to do their jobs.
The NBC4 Investigative Team recently discovered that not only are the homeless causing some of the fires, but they're also disabling fire hydrants to bathe and drink from.
"I would say this puts firefighters at risk, it puts the community at risk, even the homeless at risk, if we cannot get to our water supply to fight a fire," said Chief Sam DiGiovanna, a fire expert who trains firefighters.
The I-Team even found a fire hydrant on LA's skid row that had been "Jerry-rigged with a sink-style faucet" to supply water to an ENTIRE sidewalk full of tents... Keep in mind, disabling and opening fire hydrants is illegal.
"Some of these tents are filled with a lot of combustible materials ... that could easily cause the spread of fire inside these tents," DiGiovanna told the I-Team.
The LA Fire Department is able to issue citations to vagrants that violate the fire code, however a spokesman with the department said the number of citations issued is not available to share...
"Where is the protection? If the homeless starting a fire is not a threat, maybe they should start a fire behind your house and see how much of a threat that is to you," San Fernando Valley resident Traci Nelson said in a message to Mayor Garcetti.
NBC4 Investigative Reporter Joel Grover joined the John and Ken Show on Tuesday to discuss what his team found. Take a listen below!
Read the full report on NBC4.