18 notable buildings in Detroit with out-of-service hydrants

Hydrants for montage
A montage of the out-of-service hydrants we found in Detroit. All photos by Steve Neavling

The city of Detroit has neglected hundreds of out-of-service hydrants in neighborhoods, downtown and Midtown, Motor City Muckraker revealed last week.

The hydrants protect homes, schools, historic buildings, apartment high-rises, downtown skyscrapers, libraries, gas stations, churches and more.

Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration, which refused to release hydrant inspection records, insisted it had no idea the problem was so severe.

In the meantime, firefighters are losing control of fires because hydrants are broken.

Here are some notable buildings with out-of-service hydrants.

hydrants YMCA
YMCA in downtown Detroit.
hydrants Wayne state IMG_0549
One of several bad hydrants at Wayne State University.
John Vitale_9643
The John S. Vitale Community Center at 2650 Dickerson attracts hundreds of children to after-school events and summer programs. The hydrant has been inoperable since at least July 2013.
hydrants downtown_8568
Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions.
hydrants eastern market fire garage
This is the garage where dozens of fire rigs and ambulances await repairs in the Eastern Market area.
hydrants engine 55 ladder 27
Hydrants outside of at least three fire stations are out of service, including this one – the quarters of Engine 55 and Ladder 27.
hydrants Chandler park branch library
Chandler Park Branch Library on the east side.
hydrants alden towers_0498
The block-long Alden Towers are protected by a hydrant on both sides of the building on W. Jefferson. Only problem: Neither hydrant works.
hydrants alden towers
Alden Towners
Alden Towers
Alden Towers

 

 

 

 

 

 

High school
A college prep school at 3550 John C. Lodge near Midtown.
hydrants
One of the city’s oldest churches, the Central Methodist Church on Woodward, was built in 1866 after fire destroyed its last building.
hydrant
The Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue in downtown Detroit.
hydrants
University Islamic Center of Detroit in Midtown.
hydrant ren cen downtown
The hydrant in front of the GM Renaissance Center.
hydrants 20150221_0024
The former Greater Macedonia Baptist Church on Mack.
The two hydrants protecting the historic River Place lofts are out of service.
hydrant mcdougall and guoin
The newly renovated River Place has 48 lofts but not a working hydrant.

 

 

 

hydrant downtown_0636
The historic and stately Old Wayne County Building.
hydrant courtyard marriott downtow
The Courtyard Marriott in downtown Detroit.
hydrants Prentis
The Bronx Bar in Midtown has no working hydrants anywhere near it because the three closest ones are out of order.

Our hydrant series will continue throughout the week and is part of our yearlong examination of every fire in Detroit.

Please consider a contribution so we can continue providing daily coverage.




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.

  • Fergus

    This one was worth doing, a keeper. Nice work. Expecting nice results.

    • Fergus

      I used to know, quite well, what makes a community and other media outlets respond to a story. Things change.

  • banmar

    Steve, do you know if the buildings like the one at Wayne State, Ford Field, Alden Towers, the Old Wayne County Building and the Courtyard by Marriott have standpipes either inside or on the outside of those buildings? Standpipes alone rarely put a fire, especially if it’s an arson fueled with accelerant, but the thought any one of these buildings catching fire without working hydrants is the stuff of nightmares. Great work once again, Steve!

  • Mike Ondercin

    Your reports are sobering, but vital to the clear picture of what is happening in Detroit. I wish there was nothing like this for you to report, but hopefully having light shed on things like this will bring us closer to fixing them.

  • Michael

    Keep it up Steve!