DETROIT – A Detroit resident wants the firefighters who stopped long enough to use a burning home as a backdrop for a retirement photo fired.
The photo shows Detroit firefighters posing in front of a raging house fire around 8 p.m. Tuesday in the 600 block of South Green Street in Southwest Detroit. The front door of the home is open in the picture, showing fire burning in the basement, up the staircase and onto the top level.
At first, Detroit firefighters said the home was vacant and took dangerous for what they call an “interior attack.”
But Deonte Higginbotham and his family said they are rehabbing the home for their ailing grandmother.
“It was not vacant,” Higginbotham said. “They took selfies in front of the home.”
On Friday night, Higginbotham showed Local 4 photos of the work that had been done inside the home. He said about 90% of the work had been completed.
Higginbotham said he still can’t believe firefighters used his burning home as a backdrop for a chief’s retirement photo.
“I think they all should be fired,” Higginbotham said.
Detroit fire officials are reversing course, now saying they know the home was not vacant. Crews on the scene can be heard calling the home an occupied dwelling in radio calls obtained by Local 4.
You can hear those calls and watch Shawn Ley’s full story in the video posted above.