- Posted November 3, 2011 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Wildfires blazing near you
Firefighters have an up-close view of the best and worst in any city. This is especially true for Detroit. Many American cities are poised as Detroit is: One foot in a prosperous past, with an uncertain next act, struggling to survive in a changing economy.
Since 1950, racial tensions and vanishing industry have cut Detroit’s population in half from 1.5 million, making it a housing market horror story, leaving behind 80,000 abandoned homes.
In Detroit, social problems manifest themselves in one way – FIRE.
The result is a dying city with the highest arson rate in the world — 95% of the city’s fires are intentionally set.
BURN follows Engine Company 50 — the busiest firehouse in America.
Located on Detroit’s blighted east side, E50 stands at ground zero of the city’s problems.
Every day, these firefighters face injury, disablement, death. But they come back, day after day, resolved to make a difference. They’re certainly not here for the money — they haven’t seen a raise in 10 years.
There are 11 fires per month in LA. Compare that to 30 a day in Detroit. Every day, the doors of E50 roll up, its crew step into worn boots, climb into decrepit trucks and drive out into the crumbling streets of Detroit to battle these complex problems.
Until now, no one has explored these issues with the depth and detail they deserve.