Detroit pays high price for arson onslaught
Detroit — Arson is a raging epidemic in Detroit, destroying neighborhoods and lives as the city tries to emerge from bankruptcy. Even amid a historic demolition blitz, buildings burn faster than Detroit can raze them. Last year, the city had 3,839 suspicious fires and demolished 3,500 buildings, according to city records analyzed by The Detroit News. Burned homes scar neighborhoods for years: Two-thirds of those that caught fire from 2010-13 are still standing, records show. "Nothing burns like Detroit," said Lt. Joe Crandall, a Detroit Fire Department arson investigator, referring to the city's high rate of arson. The Detroit News researched arson for more than three months and found that it remains a huge obstacle to renewal efforts following bankruptcy. Few neighborhoods were untouched by arson and the entire city bears its costs. "People don't realize arson is a felony. Arson Chief Charles Simms said the city is making progress in its long struggle with arson. 'Arson is like a cancer'
• Topic research
• Detroit Research Project
• Fire and Police Detroit