DETROIT - Between 5 and 8 fires broke out overnight on Detroit's east side as fire crews from the west side of the city joined to help extinguish the flames. The first fire started late Monday night and several other fires sparked through early morning.
At this time it's unknown what caused these fires to spark up. Local 4 crews are on scene at one of the fires talking to investigators. We're told the city's arson squad is not available during the night.
Just hours earlier the changes to the Detroit Fire Department went into effect. At this time, 10 engines are being cut and 4 ladders are also gone. Moreover, the Detroit Fire Department will be demoting two battalion chiefs to captain, 15 captains to lieutenant, 41 lieutenants to sergeant and 90 sergeants to firefighters among other demotions. A mini pumper called a tactical unit also is being removed from service.
Five of the cut engines being removed from service are considered "browned out" in spotty service for the past seven years. One of the four ladders cut is considered "browned out," too.
For the firefighters, overtime will be a thing of the past. The demotions should push out younger firefighters, meaning the average age of a Detroit "smoke eater" is now 43.
The mayor's office said no one likes this but it is where the city is. They have to make cuts. They have no choice.
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