Detroit money crisis causes most fire inspections to fall by the wayside

DETROIT (WXYZ) - The Detroit cash crisis and business owners failing to pay up have taken a toll on the Detroit Fire Department's Fire Marshal Division.

In 2005, there were 32 fire inspectors in the city of Detroit. Now, there are only five.

And when Action News asked Detroit Fire Marshal Steven Hurst how much business owners owe in inspection fees which is supposed to help pay their salaries, he replied "Millions".

"We're just plugging away the best we can," Hurst added.

The Fire Marshal Division no longer has a night crew of fire inspectors to regularly check bars and casinos.

Years ago, Hurst says it took two years for inspectors to get to all the commercial buildings in Detroit. When Action News asked how long it'll now take for inspectors to complete that same job, he replied "Years".

And while fire fighters are trained to be able to spot fire hazards and other safety issues, their own firehouses where are supposed to be on the inspection list. But out of the dozens of firehouses around the city, only two were inspected in 2011.

In 2012? Fire Marshal Hurst said, "None".

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