Polar vortex: Good Samaritan pays for 80 Chicago homeless to stay in hotel

Update Feb. 1, 3:21 p.m. EST: The good Samaritan who paid for dozens of homeless to have a warm place to sleep has been identified.

Candice Payne started putting hotel rooms on her credit card, 20 at first, then she spearheaded the group effort after getting donations through Facebook to help pay the bill, WBBM reported. In all about 80 people were able to stay in 60 hotel rooms until the end of the week, the station reported.

Volunteers are also collecting items for the homeless, replacing what was lost, WBBM reported.

She plans to keep helping them for a long-term solution, the station reported.

Original report: A good Samaritan made sure that more than 70 homeless people had a warm place to sleep after their propane tanks were confiscated as temperatures fell in Chicago.

They had set up camps near an expressway. Wednesday morning, the temperature in the area was negative 22, with wind chills registering at negative 49. They were using more than 100 donated propane tanks to keep warm, but one exploded, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Explore>>Read: What is a polar vortex?

It was apparently too close to a space heater, WLS reported.

Explore>>Read: Polar vortex: USPS suspends service in select states

Fire officials found all the tanks when they responded to the fire, and declared it a Level I Hazmat situation, and all the tanks had to go, the Tribune reported.

The Chicago Fire Department asked the public to not donate tanks because of the danger, WLS reported.

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The Salvation Army had set up a warming center and volunteers there were prepared to help the dozens of people who had been displaced. But an hour after the call for help, officials were told never mind because someone paid for rooms at a hotel on Chicago's South Side. And the good gesture wasn't for just one night, it was for the remainder of the week, the Tribune reported.

Explore>>Read: What is wind chill and how can it hurt you? 

The good Samaritan's identity was not released and only one person decided to go to the warming center instead of the hotel, according to the Tribune.

Credit: Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune via AP

Credit: Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune via AP

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