Arsonist Hits a Number of Vacant Detroit (MI) Homes

No firefighters were injured in a series of fires in vacant homes in Detroit early today.

Detroit (MI) Fire Department investigators are looking into fires at six vacant homes on the city’s north side, according to the Detroit Free Press ( An investigator characterized it as appearing as if someone had walked down the street, setting fires as he went along.

The city also suffered three fires set within 20 minutes of each other on Thanskgiving.

In the more recent fires, two of the homes burned and collapsed, leaving little opportunity for investigators to search for clues. Fire investigators are asking for neighbors for help in identifying a suspect.

The problem of suspicious fires in vacant structures is not a new one for Detroit or other cities in so-called “Rust Belt”–an informal term for areas in the nation’s Midwest and Northeast that have experienced decline and urban decay after a loss of their manufacturing and industrial base. The Detroit (MI) Fire Department recently changed its policy on response to vacant structures in order to better protect firefighters responding to these incidents.


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