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  • Overall trend of lower numbers continues thanks to volunteer efforts
  • DFD has responded to 40 fires after two days, compared to 28 last year

Thousands of volunteers across the city helped to keep the trend of Angels’ Night fires in Detroit at a low level, with firefighters responding to 26 total fires between 12:01 a.m., Sunday, October 30 through 12 a.m., Monday, October 31.

Fire officials said the city is on track to have its second-lowest number of fires on record during the three-day effort.  After the first two nights of the three-day campaign, DFD has responded to 40 fires compared to 28 last year.  The three-day total for 2015 was 52 fires, down from 97 the year before and the lowest in the 20 years Angels’ Night patrols have been in effect.

“Over the course of the first two days of our patrols, what we have seen so far is not much different from our success last year,” said Fire Commissioner Eric Jones. “The efforts of volunteers continues to make a difference and we know they will be out again tonight as children celebrate Halloween.”

Of the 26 fires reported Sunday, 20 were structure fires, six of which were deemed suspicious.  Causes of the other fires are undetermined and still under investigation.  Firefighters typically respond to 8 structure fires on a daily basis.   On Angels’ Night, firefighters also responded to two garage fires and four trash fires.

Volunteers continue to lead the way

More than 6,000 volunteers have registered for active street patrols over this year’s three-day patrol period according to the Mayor’s Department of Neighborhoods.   The work of community volunteers has continued to drive down the number of structure fires to a level comparable to any average day in Detroit.  In the 1980s, the city experienced hundreds of arsons during the pre-Halloween period, with more than 800 in 1984.  With few exceptions since then, the number of fires has continued to steadily decrease, thanks to strong community volunteerism and organization:


1984          810

1994          354

2010          169

2011           94

2012           93

2013           95

2014           97

2015           52

Below is a breakdown of fires by type over the first 24-hour reporting period. Of the total number of fires in each category, ones that are deemed suspicious are shown in (parentheses).

2016 – DAY 2 Summary

Time Period: 12:01 a.m. Oct. 30 – 12 a.m. Oct. 31

Total Fires: 26 (7 suspicious)

Occupied Structures         Vacant Structures          Vehicle              Garage             Trash/Outdoor
10 (2)                               10 (4)                             0 (0)                  2 (0)                 4 (1)

2016 – DAY 1 Summary

Time Period: 12:01 a.m. Oct. 30 – 12 a.m. Oct. 31

Total Fires: 14 (4 suspicious)

Occupied Structures         Vacant Structures          Vehicle              Garage             Trash/Outdoor
6 (0)                                  1 (1)                             3 (3)                  1 (0)                  1 (0)

How to Get Involved

Volunteers are still welcome to help patrol streets this evening, which is the final day of the three-day Angels’ Night period. To volunteer, go to the City’s Web site at http://www.angelsnight.org or call (313) 224-4415 or visit one of the Department of Neighborhoods offices listed below:

District 1 – Crowell Recreation Center – 16630 Lahser Road

District 2 – Northwest Activities Center – 18100 Meyers Road

District 3 – Farwell Recreation Center – 2711 E. Outer Drive

District 4 – Samaritan Center – 5555 Conner

District 5 – Butzel Family Center – 7737 Kercheval

District 6 – Patton Recreation Center – 2301 Woodmere

District 7 – Don Bosco Hall – 19321 W. Chicago

City officials are also encouraging all residents to:

  • Turn on outside lights at their homes from dusk until morning on each day of the Halloween period.
  • Report any suspicious activity they observe to the Detroit Police Department by calling 9-1-1.
  • Place refuse containers or bulk items at the curb before 7 a.m. on the morning of the collection day, rather than the night before, and remove refuse containers immediately after the trash is collected.

Curfews and Gasoline Purchase Restrictions

In addition, public safety officials outlined an emergency curfew that will be in effect during the period.  The emergency curfew requires all minors age 17 and under be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (with identification) from 6 p.m. on Oct. 29 to 6 a.m. on Oct. 30, and from 6 p.m. on Oct. 30 to 6 a.m. on Oct. 31.

During the emergency curfew hours, minors will be allowed to travel to and from work or educational or training programs, but they must carry proof of employment or attendance.  Minors violating the curfew will be ticketed and held until picked up by a parent or guardian. The parent or guardian also may receive a parental responsibility violation ticket.

A second emergency ordinance prohibits the dispensing of fuel into portable containers in Detroit from October 27 at midnight through October 31 at 11:59 p.m. except for certain emergency situations for those 18 years of age and older.

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