Detroit firefighters: 31 fires in 32 hours - KMSP-TV

Detroit firefighters: 31 fires in 32 hours

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Detroit firefighters on the scene of a blaze on Agnes Street. (Credit: MyFox Detroit) Detroit firefighters on the scene of a blaze on Agnes Street. (Credit: MyFox Detroit)
DETROIT (MyFox Detroit) -

Detroit firefighters say they responded to 31 fires in 32 hours. 14 were on the city's east side and 17 on the west side. Several fires this week have been deemed suspicious.

On our way to interview officials, Fox 2 found a fire scene right next door to Alice Shippings' home. The house on Agnes Street was abandoned, and the fire is being investigated as arson.

"In the last three, four days, it's just like fires are just popping up everywhere," said Alice Shippings. "All night long we're up looking because you smell smoke... all the time."

Shippings is a lifelong east-sider. Her neighborhood was once a proud community, but now everything her family and her neighbors' families built is going up in smoke.

"Just a few days ago, a house over there caught on fire and it was raining fire, and now what, three, four days later, this house catches on fire and the whole side of my house is destroyed."

"We had to evacuate our house because the fire was so intense that our house was like a furnace."

Shippings says she's a part of the forgotten Detroit.

"I don't think they really care. Certain people are considered collateral damage. As you know, the east side is a very depressed area. There are a lot of low income people here, people that are living in almost poverty, so it's like we're the part of the population, part of the society that they really don't care about."

Shippings says the hydrant near her home wasn't working and fire stations close to her house were closed, so while she waited for a response, the flames jumped to her house.

"We don't blame the fire department. I understand they're doing the best they can with the limited personnel that they have, but the fact that they closed these fire house, they (are) putting people's lives at risk."

It's a message she hopes is heard loud and clear before her whole street burns to the ground.

"Think about the (people's) lives that you're endangering because one time they're not going to get here in time and it's going to cost lives. It's just a matter of time."

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