Busy Fourth of July for Detroit firefighters as they battle 38 fires in 24 hours

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Detroit Firefighters spent the Fourth of July on the run, battling fire-after-fire.

Several veteran firefighters described the night as crazy, and say they felt the department was on the edge of a breaking point.

A house on Hickory Street was one of at least 38 fires Detroit fire fighters responded to in a 24 hour time frame.

The vacant house went up in flames around 4:00 am and quickly spread to neighboring vacant homes.

Raynard Pruitt lives next door and watched the flames get dangerously close to his house.

"I give thumbs up to DFD, they did their job, once they got here," he says. "They need to get some more crews out here."

Sources tell us, the department was so short staffed, crews were forced to drive miles out of their normal areas to handle all of the calls.

A longer drive means slower response times.

"If they are coming from greater distance, it takes more time to get more water on a structure fire. Which causes more damage," says firefighter Jim Plieth.

It's unknown at this time how many of the fires are directly related to the Fourth of July holiday, and how many are suspicious, the numbers are still being tallied up.

I did talk briefly with the fire commissioner, he says he heard it was a busier night than normal, but the city is broke.

Firefighters are worried staffing issues will lead to someone getting hurt.

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