Brazen arsonist strikes twice – once as firefighters battle a blaze a few houses away

Most fires in Detroit are intentionally set.

But when firefighters rush to the scene of a fire, it’s often impossible to get police or an arson investigator to respond.
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That was the case at 9 p.m. Monday when firefighters were battling a blaze at an abandoned house on 28th at Cobb on the city’s west side. With no police at the scene, an arsonist brazenly set fire to a house less than a block away.

Firefighters called for an arson investigator but received the common response: “There are no arson cars available.”

Not even when an arsonist is burning down a home within sight of firefighters.

“We have six abandoned houses here, and we need someone to keep an eye on them,” Chief 5 replied.

Since Mayor Dave Bing cut the budgets of the police and fire departments this summer to stave off bankruptcy, the streets of Detroit have become more dangerous.

Arsons and murders are on a meteoric rise, even as the city continues to shed its population.

Because of the crisis facing the fire and police departments, we’ll be closely monitoring the human impact and bringing the stories to this space daily.

Got tips or suggestions? Contact Steve at [email protected]

Steve Neavling is an investigative journalist and former city hall reporter for the Detroit Free Press. The east-side Detroiter explores corruption, civil liberties and the underbelly of a city often misunderstood.    

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates and photos of Detroit

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.

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