Highland Park, Michigan (WXYZ) - The department hit by cuts was low on manpower when crews were called to three vacant homes engulfed in flames on Connecticut and on Tennyson, a block over in Highland Park.
With the fires so close to each other, firefighters found there wasn't enough water pressure to protect neighboring properties. One elderly woman had to be evacuated from her home as the exterior was damaged.
These streets are in one of the nicest neighborhoods in Highland Park. Neighbors spoke about the pride the take in maintaining the streets. Their neighborhood association makes sure that the grass is cut in yards of vacant buildings.
"My wife said, ‘That's it. We're out of here,'" said Charles Humphrey.
He says he moved into Highland Park in 2009, so he could be closer to family in Michigan. His wife now wants to move back to Texas where they came from.
Humphrey says he plans to take part in a clean-up in the neighborhood on Saturday, May 4, 2013. The neighborhood association found businesses willing to donate dumpsters for the effort.
He says there was a lot of work to do without these fires, and feels defeated as he looks at the new debris left by the fire.
"When is it going to end?"
Arson investigators were looking into the cause on Thursday, but the fires do appear to be suspicious. Anyone who saw anything suspicious is asked to call Highland Park Authorities.