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Angels' Night Fires Below 100 For Fourth Straight Year In Detroit

DETROIT (WWJ) - The years where Detroit would suffer through hundreds of fires during Halloween week appear to be over.

For the fourth year in a row, Detroit experienced fewer than 100 fires during the three-day Angels' Night period, officials announced Saturday. The city closed out this year's campaign with 97 reported fires from Wednesday, Oct. 29 through Friday, Oct. 31.

With only a few exceptions, Angels' Night fires have declined steadily since the 1980s when they peaked at more than 800 over the three-day period. Since 2011, the number has held in the 90s after a busy 2010 when 167 fires were reported.

Of the 97 fires reported this year, fewer than half -- 43 -- have been deemed suspicious, according to fire department investigators. The majority of the reports were non-suspicious fires in occupied homes, vehicle fires and trash container fires.

"The entire Detroit community came together this week," Mayor Duggan said in a statement, thanking the more than 3,000 volunteers who patrolled the city in cars, on bikes, and on foot. "The day will come when we've removed all the abandoned buildings from this city. Until then, we will continue the Angels' Night community effort."

The Mayor, Police Chief James Craig and Fire Commissioner Edsel Jenkins each praised the work of fire fighters and police officers in keeping the city safe over the past three nights.

"I certainly want to really give a hearty 'thank you' to the parents," Craig said. "When we look back at 2012, there were 126 juveniles detained, last year we detained 41, but this year, only 24 juveniles were detained -- that's really a testament that our parents paid attention, they were our partners in this, and I'm so thankful."

"We had approximately 31 occupied structure fires," Jenkins said. "I think we've got a good handle on arson in the city during the Halloween period."

Duggan added that he did not see an unaccompanied juvenile while he scanned the city during "15 to 18 hours" of the Angel's Night curfew.

"I was in every corner of this city -- hour after hour -- and every place I went, I saw flashing yellow lights," Duggan said. "So to the 3,900 volunteers I just want to thank you."

After another successful Angels' Night in Detroit, Duggan is already looking forward to 2015.

"A year from now, this city will be almost entirely lit," Duggan said. "We will have taken out several thousand more abandoned buildings, and we're continuing to occupy buildings."

Here's a breakdown of fires by type over the three-day period, as well as the numbers from the final night of the campaign. Of the total number of fires in each category, ones that are deemed suspicious are shown in parenthesis.

Time Period: 12:01 a.m. Oct. 29 - 12 a.m. Nov. 1
Total Fires: 97 (43 suspicious)

  • Occupied Structures: 31 (5)
  • Vacant Structures: 43(27)
  • Vehicle Fires: 10 (8)
  • Garage Fires: 3 (2)
  • Trash Fires: 10 (1)

Additional Stats

  • 3,900 Patrol and community group volunteers who participated in the Angels' Night effort
  • 500: Approximate number of abandoned vehicles towed leading up to Angels' Night
  • 47: Number of Fire Net teams during campaign
  • 24: Curfew violators picked up (down from 41 last year and 126 the year before)
  • 3: Arson suspect arrests
  • $50,000: Cash donations to Angel's Night campaign
  • $40,000: Value of in-kind contributions

Angels' Night Fires Trend

  • 1984 -- 810 fires
  • 1994 -- 354 fires
  • 2010 -- 169 fires
  • 2011 -- 94 fires
  • 2012 -- 93 fires
  • 2013 -- 95 fires
  • 2014 -- 97 fires
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