He woke up hot and sweaty in his tent. But when he tried to crawl out for fresh air, he found a ring of flames around the sidewalk where he’d pitched the canvas.
“I rolled out and come up fighting through the fire,” 58-year-old Bobby Holiday, a tall man with a Dodgers cap and a faraway gaze, recalled on a sweltering July afternoon. “Burned my heel. All the clothes I had all got burned up.”
On the mean streets that collectively are known here as skid row, where several thousand homeless men and women wander, the fire was just one of the many that have consumed tents in recent years.