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Tent explosion near Felts Field leaves man and woman in hospital

The man and woman were using a camping stove inside their tent before the explosion.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Two people camping near the river just west of Felts Field were critically injured after their tent exploded.

"Everybody I think is pretty shaken up," Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said.

The tent exploded from gas build up, as the man and woman were using a camping stove inside their tent.

"They were using a modified propane tank to develop heat in a stove hibachi type of a grill," Schaeffer said.

The man and woman are currently at the hospital being treated for their injuries. At the time, they were staying at a homeless camp with roughly 40 other people present on scene.

Schaeffer says that based on the amount of energy that went into building some of the structures, it's evident the group has been here for a while... and intends to stay.

"As we saw with the last two weeks, having a shelter open downtown, there's simply people that do not want to be in, in any type of shelter system, long term, long term housing situation," Schaeffer said. "I don't know if that's the case here."

"The thing that frustrates me is that I didn't know that this was here," Schaeffer added.  "I didn't know the gravity of the solution."

Schaeffer says homelessness is not only a problem within the city of Spokane. It will take regional solutions to make a difference.

"We go across the jurisdiction all the time to help other people. That's what it's about. That's what threads of community gather, as what we need to have happen with the homelessness or the unhoused population. And the crisis that really exists is the jurisdictional boundaries need to go down. And we need to have an originalist approach."

This is an ongoing news story and we will provide more updates as we receive them.