Detroit fires see dramatic decline, union chief doubts data

  • Source: WXYZ-TV ABC Detroit
  • Published: 02/11/2019 12:00 AM

Detroit has seen a dramatic decline in the number of fires over the last five years, which fire department officials credit to the city's aggressive blight elimination, bolstered arson investigations and community education efforts. According to the Detroit Fire Department's data, the average number of structure fires annually in the city has dropped by 42 percent since 2014, the Detroit News reported. Detroit Fire Commissioner Eric Jones said the city has ramped up efforts to prevent fires, and identify and arrest arsonists. But the fire union's president, Mike Nevin, is questioning the department's data, claiming that officials are omitting structures and separating fires into categories to skew the numbers. The newspaper's analysis of structure fire rates in other large Midwestern cities found that Detroit's daily average outpaces them by more than three times. The department's data show there were 2,736 structure fires in 2018, with the city fighting about seven structure fires per day. The city was battling an average of about 30 structure fires per day five years ago.


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