A homeless man looking for a warm place to sleep has been found dead in the east end.

His body was discovered in a van parked behind the Word of Life Church at the corner of Ste-Catherine street and Fullum.

He had been given permission to sleep in the van to stay warm.

The victim, Donald Cyr, had turned to the church for help and pastor Curtis Matoga agreed last week to let him sleep in an old van that wasn't being used.

But things went terribly wrong on Monday evening -- a candle that Cyr had lit inside the van caught fire.

Cyr managed to put out the flames, but he died of his injuries.

Matoga tells CTV's Maya Johnson that it's a shame Cyr died just trying to stay warm.

"Great guy, good humour, he's 52 years old, he's had a very hard life."

Police investigation

Montreal police spokesman Raphael Bergeron says Cyr likely died of smoke inhalation.

Police are saying the death appears to be an accident.