WUOMFM

An in-depth look at Detroit's arson epidemic

Feb 19, 2015

This photo was taken at the Heidelberg project. In Latin, it reads "We hope for better things; it shall rise from the ashes."
Credit Paige Pfleger

Seventeen people died in arson fires in Detroit last year.

That's according to an in-depth analysis by the Detroit News today.

If you missed it, here’s the upshot: arson isn’t a new issue for Detroit, obviously, but it’s proving to be a massive resource-suck as the city moves out of bankruptcy.

There were some 9,000 suspicious fires between 2010 and mid-2013.

The silver lining here is that the city making blight a major issue, which could help with arson since those buildings are often targets – and they can be tricky for firefighters to assess when they show up on the scene.

"We shouldn't go in. But there is always that instance where we have to go in because there are squatters, there are people living inside that house,” says Detroit firefighter union president Jeffrey Pegg.

There were  3,839 suspicious fires in Detroit last year.  

Tags: