City administration a no-show at funeral for Detroit firefighter

Firefighter Denny McGarry is pictured. Photo by Ian Kushnir.

There’s no way around it – there’s a crisis within the Detroit Fire Department.

Layoffs, 10% pay reductions, no money for equipment – all at a time when firefighters are struggling to keep pace with a growing number of arsons.

So for firefighters risking their lives and taking on insurmountable sacrifices, it was insulting Thursday when no one from the administration attended a funeral Thursday for own of their own, 44-year-old Denny McGarry, a beloved father, husband and co-worker.

“This was an active firefighter who passed away, and no one from downtown showed up,” read a post on a Facebook page for Detroit firefighters. “Maybe it’s a small sign of their disdain for the men and women who actually do the job.”

More than 60 people sounded off.

“Very disrespectful.”

“Fire them all.”


“Not only do you guys have to work under those conditions but you have to deal with an administration that doesn’t give a shit?!?”

McGarry died unexpectedly at his home.

Anger over the no-show is the result of years of festering frustration within one of the country’s busiest, most dangerous fire departments. Fire trucks and safety equipement routinely malfunction. Recently closed fire stations are being destroyed by thieves. And fatigued firefighters are battling more blazes.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.