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WCCO cameraman helps put out fire at homeless camp

It's not clear what started the fire at the St. Paul encampment.

Contrary to how it may often seem, sometimes photographers really do put their cameras down and help when it matters most.

Case in point, WCCO photojournalist Dymanh Chhoun, who was filming footage for a story on a homeless encampment in St. Paul on Saturday when a fire broke out among the tents. 

Leaving his camera running, Chhoun leapt into action and helped a resident of the camp put out the fire, as can be seen in the footage below:


"I didn’t know a tent was actually on fire until that one guy walk(ed) over there and try to put it out" (sic), Chhoun said in a Facebook post. "Glad I got to help him!"

WCCO was doing a story on controversial homeless encampments in the Twin Cities, and what the people living in them will do once freezing temperatures set in.

Some official plans are in place to help residents of the Minneapolis camp near Franklin and Hiawatha avenues, which has received a lot of press in part due to a number of deaths that have taken place there.

But as WCCO notes, those at the St. Paul camp above Interstate 35 aren't so lucky, as "city and county officials have said there is no plan to relocate the homeless for the winter."

It's not clear what caused the fire at the encampment. 

You can read the station's full article and watch video of the story right here. 

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