Once the proud center of the American industrial machine, Detroit, Michigan, is now an omen, a ghost of America’s future. No one understands this better than the people literally putting out the fires, battling every day in an uncertain war.
BURN is a feature film documentary about Detroit, told through the eyes of Detroit firefighters, the men and women on the front lines charged with the thankless task of saving a city that many have written off as dead.
Engine Company 50 is one of the oldest, proudest firehouses in the city. Located at Gratiot and Houston Whittier, on Detroit’s blighted east side, it’s one of the busiest firehouses in the United States.
Every day, these firefighters face injury, disablement, chronic illness, and death. They’re using outdated equipment and working for a meager wage.
To say the city’s in trouble is an understatement–record foreclosures, unemployment, and a failing auto industry have made it ground zero of the foundering American economy. But there’s still life here…even if some argue it’s not worth saving. The skeleton fire crews left in this crumbling American city don’t deny that it’s sick, but they can’t view it as terminal, either.
The media has swarmed on the city, sensationalizing its decay. But, until now, no one has properly explored the city and its people with the depth and detail they deserve. BURN will follow the firefighters of E50 and a rich tapestry of other Detroit stories–the educators, the reformers, the activists, the developers, and the city officials. By following the lives of the firefighters at E50, and the Detroiters around them, the audience witnesses the human struggles and personal courage in the face of overwhelming odds.