June 06, 2014 - 10:33 AM
ASHCROFT – Police say a homeless man injured in an explosion last month is in stable condition.
Cecil Macdonald, 71, was involved in the blast after trying to light a cigarette near a leaking propane tank in his tent. He had set up camp near a railway siding owned by Ashcroft Terminal. He was rushed to Vancouver General Hospital.
Thelma and Harold Schmidt of Savona are relieved their friend is okay.
Thelma recalls Macdonald telling her he was excited after purchasing his new tent because it gave him ample room to store more things — including a heater. She was worried he might hurt himself while cooking inside the tent.
“When I heard about it I was really quite sad because he did hurt himself in there,” Thelma said.
Macdonald would frequently visit Thelma and Harold for coffee when he lived under a bridge near the lake in Savona. He would often regale the two with stories of his cycling trips.
“He would think nothing of going from (Savona) to Merritt for just a day-trip,” Harold said.
“He’s toured all of B.C., all of Alberta, half of Saskatchewan and he took a trip on that bicycle all the way to Nova Scotia and back.”
Harold says Macdonald is an “amazing man” with phenomenal stories of living off the land with not many possessions aside from his 18-speed bicycle and trailer.
The Schmidt’s say Macdonald’s adventures don’t end with the summer season.
“He has studded snow tires on that bike,” Harold said with a laugh.
Ashcroft RCMP Sgt. Michel Grondin says police have not been notified if Macdonald has been released from the hospital. No one has seen Macdonald back in town.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014