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Volunteers Log 3rd Straight Year of Record Low Angels’ Night Fires; City Shifts Focus Next Year to 3 Day Celebration

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  • 2017 recorded second lowest number of fires in Angels’ Night history with 54
  • Decision prompted by sustained reduction in Angels’ Night fires and overall 37% reduction in annual structure fires since 2014
  • City officials credit volunteers and sponsors, call for their ongoing involvement in growing number of  family-friendly Halloween activities

After a successful three decades-long community campaign to tamp down arson each year during last three days of October, Mayor Mike Duggan, Police Chief James Craig and Fire Commissioner Eric Jones announced today that the annual Angels’ Night citywide patrol campaign will be replaced by a three-day community celebration geared towards fun filled events for kids and their families.

Mayor Duggan says he made the decision based on recommendations from Chief Craig and Commissioner Jones, both of who pointed to low numbers of Angels’ Night fires and arrests over the past several years, and also based on conversations with community leaders. 

“During the three-day Angels’ Night period of 2015, Detroit saw the lowest number of fires in 20 years,” said Mayor Duggan.  “Since then, the numbers have remained low and are similar to the number of fires we experience on an average night.  After yet another quiet year, it’s clear this is the time to give Halloween back to our children.  From now on,” the Mayor added, “Halloween in Detroit isn’t going to be about fear, it’s going to be about fun.  And not only that, it’s going to last for three days.  I’d like to thank the thousands of Detroiters who volunteered over the years to keep our city safe and now it’s time to watch our kids play not patrol.”

Commissioner Jones said he made the recommendation based on what he has seen in the firehouses and on the streets.

“Quite frankly, there just isn’t the fire activity anymore to justify this kind of mass mobilization,” said Jones. “While they haven’t had to put out as many fires, our firefighters have really been getting into the spirit of the Halloween activities.”

This year’s results mark the third consecutive Angels’ night campaign where the city saw fewer than 60 fires in total during the three-day period.  Prior to 2015, numbers hovered near 100 fires, still a far cry from the 354 in 1994 and more than 800 seen regularly in the 1980s.  During the entire three-day campaign, DFD responded to 54 total fires compared to 59 last year.  A breakdown of the first two nights of the Angels’ Night patrol, along with historical numbers, is below.

Steady, sustained decline in fires
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:


YEAR

3-DAY FIRES

1984

810

1994

354

2010

169

2011

94

2012

93

2013

95

2014

97

2015

52

2016

59

2017

54

 

 

Fewer vacant houses = 37% fewer structure fires

 

 

Since 2014, the city of Detroit also has seen a 37% reduction in its number of structure fires each year.  A major factor has been the city’s aggressive blight removal program, which has resulted in the demolition of nearly 13,000 vacant buildings.  Under the Land Bank auction and other programs, more than 3,000 structurally sound vacant houses in the city have been or are being renovated and reoccupied.

YEAR                     ANNUAL STRUCTURE FIRES
2014                       3748
2015                       3211
2016                       2893
2017                       2346 (YTD)

 

Below is a breakdown of fires by type over the final Angels’ Night campaign. Of the total number of fires in each category, ones that are deemed suspicious are shown in (parentheses).

 

2017 – Final Totals

 

Time Period: 12:01 AM Oct. 29 – 12:00 AM Nov. 1
Total Fires: 54 (25 suspicious) 

 

Occupied Structures

Vacant Structures

Vehicle Fires

Garage Fires

Trash/Outdoor Fires

13 (4)

18 (10)                

10 (3)

10 (4)

3 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

2017 - DAY 3 Summary

 

Time Period: 12:01 AM Oct. 31 – 12:00 AM Nov. 1
Total Fires: 16 (11 suspicious)

Occupied Structures

Vacant Structures

Vehicle Fires

Garage Fires

Trash/Outdoor Fires

2 (1)

6 (6)

5 (2)

1 (0)

2 (2)

 

 

 

 

Sponsors:

 

This Angels Night, the City of Detroit hosted 25 family friendly events at police precincts, firehouses, recreation centers and parks across the City. The City of Detroit thanks the many businesses that supported the Angels’ Night effort by making financial contributions or in-kind donations. A total of $44,675 was donated, with another $32,000 contributed in in-kind support.

Diamond Sponsors
McDonald's

Gold Sponsors
Comerica
GFL Environmental
Marathon Petroleum Company
Michigan Fuels
White Castle

Silver Sponsors
Detroit Renewable Energy
KEO and Associates, Inc.
Payne Landscaping
SER Metro-Detroit
UAW Region 1A

 

Bronze Sponsors
Adamo
Advanced Disposal
Central Kitchen & Bar
Giorgi Concrete
Little Caesars
Miller Canfield
Operating Engineers – Local 324

Contributors
DMC Strategies
Groundwork0
Homrich
Michigan Recreational Construction Inc.
Savon Foods
Strategic Staffing Solutions

 

The following City Departments also sponsored many of the Halloween family activities:

 

  • Planning & Development
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Housing & Revitalization
  • Municipal Parking
  • Civil Rights
  • Department of Administrative Hearings
  • Detroit Land Bank
  • Detroit Building Authority
  • Buildings, Safety, Engineering & Environmental Department
  • Public Lighting
  • Department of Public Works
  • DDOT
  • Department of Innovation & Technology
  • DWSD
  • Human Resources
  • Law Department
  • Mayor’s Office

 

92
Chicago/Davison

The West end of teh route uses Evergreen, Plymouth and Burt.

The West end of teh route uses Evergreen, Plymouth and Burt.

The West end of teh route uses Evergreen, Plymouth and Burt.

The West end of teh route uses Evergreen, Plymouth and Burt.

The West end of teh route uses Evergreen, Plymouth and Burt.

The West end of teh route uses Evergreen, Plymouth and Burt.

The West end of teh route uses Evergreen, Plymouth and Burt.

The West end of teh route uses Evergreen, Plymouth and Burt.

 
92
Chicago/Davison

The West end of teh route uses Evergreen, Plymouth and Burt.

The West end of teh route uses Evergreen, Plymouth and Burt.

The West end of teh route uses Evergreen, Plymouth and Burt.

The West end of teh route uses Evergreen, Plymouth and Burt.

The West end of teh route uses Evergreen, Plymouth and Burt.

The West end of teh route uses Evergreen, Plymouth and Burt.

The West end of teh route uses Evergreen, Plymouth and Burt.

The West end of teh route uses Evergreen, Plymouth and Burt.

 
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