Budget cuts nearly claim lives of children, senior severely injured in Detroit fire bombing

Fire rescueAs firefighters arrived at the scene of a burning house on Detroit’s east side early this morning, neighbors were screaming that a family was trapped inside.

Firefighters found a lifeless boy in the house and pulled him from a smoking window on the 800 block of Navahoe near Jefferson and Conner.
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Without enough ambulances on the streets, firefighters had to resuscitate the boy themselves and rush him to the hospital because paramedics took too long to arrive.

Firefighters also tended to an elderly woman and an infant, who had been burned on the head and arms after someone apparently chucked a molotov cocktail at the house. They were taken to the hospital by an ambulance that eventually arrived.

Complicating the rescue: The two closest fire stations were closed because of budget cuts that many fear are going to increase as the city tries to avoid bankruptcy.

“Prayer is all we got left over here,” Tammy Bell, a neighbor, said. “No one’s looking out for us over here.”

An elderly man with disabilities died in a house fire in the same area earlier this year after firefighters had to travel more than twice the distance because of station closures.

Arson investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire, though arson is suspected.

Stay tuned for new details.

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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