Daniel Tommerup lived his final years on the streets of Launceston in a level of prolonged physical pain and emotional distress few will experience in their lifetimes.
Liver cancer was causing his body to shut down, while regular falls and accidents saw him repeatedly end up in the Launceston General Hospital emergency department.
But no one expected his death to be as terrifying and painful as it was.
Daniel - in his 50s - died after he caught fire while cooking food on Tuesday evening outside Milton Hall on Frederick Street, suffering severe burns to the majority of his body.
Street chaplains from the neighbouring City Baptist Church were in regular close contact with Daniel as he would sleep on Milton Hall's front steps most nights, along with other members of Launceston's street community.
Pastor Jeff McKinnon said Daniel's debilitating health issues left many fearing for the worst - with him coming close to death on a number of occasions - but last week's incident had caused shock and great sadness.
"Many thought we'd find him some day after his liver or heart had packed in, but no one expected for this to happen," he said.
"It's a sad story and a horrible way to die.
"It was a painful life for him. He struggled with diabetes and the issues that come with alcohol addiction."
A complex, but gentle man
To those who regularly encountered Daniel, he was seen as a friendly man with plenty to say, and his loss is being mourned by those in the community service and healthcare sectors, as well as the street community.
The reasons why he ended up living on the streets of Launceston for several years were unclear, however.
His son lives in Finland - where mandatory military conscription occurs - and Daniel would often speak about serving in the military in the past.
But his severe alcohol dependency had made both his long-term and short-term memory uncertain, meaning few in Launceston knew his complete background. His exact age was unknown.
Mr McKinnon said even though Daniel struggled day-to-day and demonstrated complex behaviour at times, he was pleasant company.
"He could be very gentle and caring, some of the old folk in the church loved him," he said.
"People cared for him, they listened to him. He was a lovely person in many ways.
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"He might have looked scary for some people, but he wasn't a danger to anyone."
Sleeping on the streets presents a range of challenges, and Daniel's vulnerability occasionally made him a target for others, including losing teeth and suffering injuries in violent confrontations.
"Life wasn't easy or good for him," Mr McKinnon said.
Milton Hall a place of last resort
Launceston has limited emergency accommodation options for the homeless, and even places that have a small number of beds available - such as City Mission's Safe Space - are not always appropriate for everyone for a variety of reasons.
Mr McKinnon said Daniel's decision to sleep outside Milton Hall was his own to make.
"It's fair to argue that there is a need for greater compassion in our society," he said.
"Anyone who chooses to sleep on the porch of Milton Hall hasn't got many good options left.
"It's not really protected from the weather, and even though it has a bit of cover, it's very exposed. But it's a safe place for the guys who live there."
The church offers a two-course meal for the homeless once a week.
There was one man who was usually missing from their meal service, however: Daniel.
"He rarely came in," Mr McKinnon said.
"It felt like he didn't really like being indoors like that."
The City Baptist Church on Frederick Street will hold a memorial service for Daniel Tommerup at 2pm on Wednesday, October 20.
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