16 fires reported in Detroit on fireworks night

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

While the 2016 Ford Fireworks in downtown Detroit went off with few, if any, problems, the same could not be said for Detroit’s neighborhoods on Monday night, when the Detroit Fire Department fought 16 fires.

“Historically, there’s been a spike on fireworks night,” said Deputy Fire Commissioner Dave Fornell. Sixteen fires is one-third higher than the nightly average of 12, Fornell said.

No immediate breakdown was available of how many fires were considered suspicious or occurred in occupied structures, Fornell said.

The majority of the fires were on the east side, Fornell said. He said fire fighting resources had to be diverted from the west side to battle them. He said the department’s resources were also on the scene of a plane crash on the east side.

“It isn’t like the old-time, Devil’s Night type-thing,” Fornell said.

Even so, with Independence Day approaching, the fire department is beefing up its resources.

Normally, there would be 27 engine companies in service; Tuesday night through the Fourth of July, 32 companies will be in service, similar to the way the department gears up its response for Angel’s Night in October.

“Proactive efforts worked then; hopefully they’ll work now,” Fornell said.

Meanwhile, Michigan State Police report that troopers made no arrests and wrote no tickets in the areas they patrolled — Belle Isle, Milliken State Park and the central business district — during the fireworks downtown.

Figures for arrests and citations made downtown by the Detroit Police Department Monday night were not immediately available, said Officer Dan Donakowski, but were expected later Tuesday.