DETROIT (WXYZ) - The Detroit Fire Department told 7 Action News that they have battled 30 fires on the city’s east side over the past 32 hours.
Twenty-three of the blazes are labeled as suspicious. Firefighters believe at least one is arson.
A spokesperson at the department said they have seen higher numbers in the past.
Several house fires were on Hasse. Another was on the corner of Lamont and East McNichols. Other homes destroyed by flames and smoke were along Healy and Nancy. Late Monday morning, a house was burned to the ground along Sheridan.
Alice Shippings lives right next to the demolished home on Sheridan with her family, including her grandchildren. She told 7 Action News she is hurt and frightened by the sight of her neighborhood.
Shippings is one of many frustrated residents who are upset over recent cuts to the fire department’s resources.
“The fire department is doing the best that they can, but with limited personnel,” said Shippings. “What can they do? And they are not maintaining the fire hydrants. There’s no reason a fire is right there and they don’t have enough water to put the fire out!”
Isaiah Sims has lived along Healy for the past 15 years and has seen it progressively deteriorate. One of the homes destroyed by fire is a couple houses down from his own home.
He showed 7 Action News where an arsonist attempted to burn down the house next door by trying to set fire to a mattress.
Sims is worrying what will happen the next time an arsonist strikes.
“We’ve got so much vegetation around here it’s so easy for the rest of this just to catch on fire,” said Sims.
Many residents in these neighborhoods are still hoping more city funds return to public safety.
“We’re real people. We have real lives,” said Shippings. “Other people may not value them, but we value our own lives and this is putting everybody in our area at risk. Sooner or later somebody is going to die.”
The Michigan Arson Prevention Committee is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in these cases.
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