Detroit sees one of safest Angels Night on record, huge volunteer turnout

- Detroit saw one of its safest Angels Night on record because of the volunteers making it happen. According to the city, 6,000 people volunteered to patrol the streets this Angels Night weekend.

And the results are evident with only 14 fires reported this weekend, which is down from 17 last year.

In the first two nights, the city reports 40 fires in the city, up 12 from last year. Fire officials say 2016 has seen the second-lowest number of fires. 2015 saw the lowest cumulative numbers with 52 fires over three days.

Very few fires appeared to be intentional and only one was set to an abandoned home. A fire broke out late Monday morning, though, at an abandoned apartment building. Fire crews believe that one was intentional, but say this is still one of the safest years to date. 

"You can feel the pride in the city every place you go, and people who have pride in their neighborhoods watch out for them and that's what we're starting to build," he said.

Duggan says he believes there were fewer intentional fires because, with 4,000 fewer abandoned homes around the city, there were 4,000 fewer potential targets.

Police and firefighters also had some help from Cody High School students participating in the Detroit firefighter apprentice program.

"When they finish the school semester they will have their firefighter 1, they will have their firefighter 2 -- credentials that have never been heard of given in high school. So it's a beautiful program," said Capt. James Edwards of the Detroit Fire Department.

These are young Detroiters with a passion to look out for their city.

"It's my city. It's the city I grew up in, so  it really hits home for me to be able to be able to walk around my city, and to be able to volunteer and give my services to my city to ensure safety," said Jordan Lewis, a high school senior.

"You work with them, you study together, then we go like we are now -- as a team, as a family," said Paris Nobles, a junior.

In Detroit, where there's a will there's a way. And with the will of these volunteers, it's possible their on the verge of squashing Devil's night for good.

"It was born out of necessity 25 years or so ago in the City of Detroit, and I'm hoping we're getting near the end of the time it will be a necessity," Duggan said.

Duggan says the volunteer response has been so high this year, he's already considering scaling back on patrols next year, maybe having all the volunteers put on a Halloween festival for the kids instead. 


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories