Man illegally builds 'timebomb' cabin in public park in search of hidden treasure

Man illegally builds 'timebomb' cabin in public park in search of hidden treasure
Sean Reynolds interviews Steve Irwin, Seattle Homeless Man Logging & Mining for Gold in City Park

A homeless man is facing charges after digging up a Seattle park hillside with an excavator. He has since returned to set up camp with a DIY cabin where he has reportedly been living for months.

Despite Steven Irwin, 41, claiming he had permission to build in Dr Jose Rizal Park, the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department recently paid $15,000 to repair the damage, as per KOMO News.

His cabin is said to include a fireplace, heaters, a washing machine – and a treadmill.

Andrea Suarez of We Heart Seattle, a homeless outreach group, expressed her concerns about the potential hazards in his cabin and surrounding area.

"He is digging into the slopes, building structures, tearing down trees, undoing thousands of dollars in repairs," Suarez told the publication.

"There's also a risk for him being in that environment. There are smells of kerosene, propane, and gasoline - there are three different forms of fuel down here, wires everywhere. It's a ticking timebomb."

She continued: "He’s dreaming up that this is a gold mine, that he’s mining for diamonds, and that he is going to find gold and strike it rich."

Last October, Irwin was allegedly arrested for knocking down trees with an excavator to build the cabin. This led to concerned neighbours flooding police with calls.

"He was driving a little crazy with this heavy piece of machinery," the park steward previously said. "It's scary seeing someone with a big excavator going through the park, and it could have been a lot worse of a situation."

He admitted his intention to officials but was adamant he had permission to do so.

Irwin has since returned to the plot.

"This is a call to action by law enforcement and Seattle Parks and Recreation to do something," Suarez told the publication.

"I’ve even offered to pay for his first six months of housing, and he said, 'That’s great. I’m still going to keep my cabin in the woods.'"

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