DETROIT (WWJ) – Firefighters had no reason to celebrate over the long Fourth of July holiday in Detroit.
Second Deputy Fire Commissioner Sydney Zack says there were more building fires over the long holiday weekend than last year.
“In 2015 we had 51 building fires and in 2016 it went back up to that 2014 number that we will be reporting 71 building fires for that time period,” said Zack.
Joseph Levins tried to help contain the fire at a home in his Farrand Park neighborhood in Highland Park.
“Say about 11 – 11:30 p.m. my neighbor came from across the street and said the house next door to me was on fire,” said Levins. And just hours later neighbors were knocking at his door telling him his house was on fire.
“The fire hydrant right across the street from me didn’t work – it had low pressure – they had to plug up from all the way down the street and around the corner to get water pressure – so that took like 20-30 minutes. Whatever. But you know every second that goes by with a fire — is destroying,” he added.
The damage to Levins home is extensive and makes the home unlivable.
“The whole left side of the house is damaged from the fire,” said Levins.
At one point Levins ran back inside his burning home to rescue his dog.
“He ran back into the house — he wasn’t upstairs – there was smoke coming in – I had to jump out the top window and slide down a gutter and ran back into the house to get him, he was on the couch, I grabbed him and ran out of there.”
He believes the fire to his home was caused by his neighbors’ fireworks.
In addition to the numerous suspicious fires, estimated by Zack at roughly 76 percent, there were a number of fireworks related injuries. In Detroit, a 2-year-old child was critically injured when shots rang out during a fireworks party on the east side. No arrests have been made in the case.