Part of our yearlong examination of the beleaguered Detroit Fire Department and the devastating impact of arsons. The following is based on dispatch reports, run sheets, interviews, 911 calls and onsite inspections. Cymbalta over the counter
Fires broke out in more than 250 houses, businesses and other buildings in Detroit in March, the most destructive month of the year so far, as rigs broke down, hydrants malfunctioned and arsonists grew bolder. clomid over the counter
The number of suspicious fires and arsons doubled over February, accounting for more than 60% of the blazes. The suspicious fires were often so fierce that they spread to 29 neighboring houses and buildings, according to onsite inspections and a Motor City Muckraker review of dispatch records. On seven different occasions, fires tore through three or more neighboring houses. diflucan over the counter
Flames consumed half of a block near W. McNichols and E. Davison on March 28.
In many cases, fires are burning longer and causing more damage because of broken hydrants and growing problems with the city’s aging, long-neglected fleet of rigs. In March, firefighters were hindered by at least 18 faulty hydrants.
On March 22, five houses on the 5000 block of Spokane were ravaged by flames after firefighters were delayed by faulty hydrants and didn’t have enough working aerial ladders. Four days earlier, a faulty hydrant cost firefighters vital time while a house fire spread to two neighboring dwellings on the 1400 block of Canton.
The March fires damaged or destroyed 211 houses, 29 commercial buildings, 13 apartment buildings, three schools and one church.
The hardest hit area was southwest Detroit. In a three block area of 28th Street just north of I-94, eight houses and vacant businesses were ravaged by fires over a two-week period. Two hydrants failed. One of the city’s only operating platform trucks – Ladder 17 – caught fire while two firefighters were towering over the blaze on the ladder’s bucket.
Those fires were in 48210, which straddles Michigan Avenue. The zip code had 23 blazes, more than any in the city in March.
The fires are eating away at neighborhoods and contributing to a population decline that began in the 1950s and hasn’t let up since.
We are documenting every fire this year to provide an unflinching, in-depth look at the impact of fires on residents, neighborhoods and the city’s future.
On Thursday, we will post the full list of fires with details, photos and a host of other information.
Help us sustain and improve this project with a contribution.
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.