SOURCES: Detroit Fire Commissioner Don Austin to leave his post

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Detroit Fire Commissioner Don Austin is on the way out. 

Sources confirm to 7 Action News that Austin and Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr have agreed to Austin leaving office. 

The exact date has not been determined but could be by the end of he year. 

Austin created controversy when he advised firefighters to "let it burn" when encountering a fire in an abandoned structure to avoid injury and conserve dwindling resources. 

Many fire trucks have been in disrepair with the city's financial problems.  Many fire stations have also been closed because of reduced staffing.

Austin grew up in Detroit, but spent thirty years with the fire department in Los Angeles before t aking the job as Detroit's fire commissioner in May of 2011.

At the time he was hired, Austin said his number one priority was ensuring the residents of Detroit had reliable fire protection and emergency medical services.

"When you pick up the telephone, and call 911 for help, that's exactly what you expect, " Austin said when he was first introduced to the city's residents. "You expect well-trained, caring professionals to promptly respond to your call for need."

In the two years since his arrival, Austin and the department have continued to battle issues with response times, the conditions of their equipment and supplies at the city's dwindling number of fire houses.


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