DETROIT, MI – For the second year in a row, the city of Detroit saw fewer than 60 fires during the three-day Angels’ Night volunteer campaign, roughly half the number seen annually just a few years ago when the yearly average was close to 100.
Mayor Mike Duggan, Fire Commissioner Eric Jones and Police Chief James Craig joined with community leaders and volunteer coordinators this morning to announce the results at a press conference at Detroit Public Safety headquarters.
By the end of the annual patrol period, which ended at midnight, Detroit firefighters had responded to a total of 59 fires, which included 39 structure fires, 6 car fires, 9 trash fires and 5 garage fires. Last year the city responded to a total of 52 fires – the lowest number in decades. In 2014, firefighters responded to 97 fires.
The Mayor praised the work of police, firefighters, patrol coordinators and especially, the thousands of volunteers who have helped in this successful community effort over the years.
“This coalition has brought to an effective end to a difficult chapter in Detroit’s history,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “What started out as a negative for our city has evolved into an annual community celebration that shows the very best of Detroit. We plan to keep it that way.”
Fire Commissioner Eric Jones said that the work of his firefighters and arson investigators, as well as the city’s demolition program, has played an critical role in the city’s Angel’s Night success.
“The simple fact is we have 10,000 fewer potential targets for arsonists today than we did three years ago and our arson investigators have been taking more known arsonists off the streets,” said Commissioner Jones. “As a result, our hard working firefighters now are responding to 30 percent fewer structure fires than they were just two years ago. That means better safety for the public and for firefighters.”
More than 6,000 volunteers participated in active street patrols over this year’s three-day patrol period according to the Mayor’s Department of Neighborhoods. The work of community volunteers has continued to drive down the number of Angels’ Night structure fires to a level comparable to any average day in Detroit. In the 1980s, the city experienced hundreds of arsons during the pre-Halloween period, with more than 800 in 1984 alone. With few exceptions since then, the number of fires has continued to steadily decrease, thanks to strong community volunteerism and organization.