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Multiple Suspected Arson Fires Push Crews In Detroit To Limit

DETROIT (WWJ) - An east side Detroit neighborhood was teeming with firefighters Wednesday, as they battled multiple suspected arson fires in vacant homes.

Reporting live from the scene of a house fire on Lakewood, WWJ City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas said she could see crews battling another fire about a block away on Chalmers.

Chief John Slavik said at one point Wednesday morning, all crews covering the east side were out fighting mainly suspected arson fires, leaving the rest of the area unprotected in the event of a life-threatening situation.

"They're stretched thin, the men are working hard out on a 24-hour shift. It's just like this every day, day in and day out, and it's just become a normal thing," he said of the arson fires.

Slavik said its a dangerous situation not only for the fire crews, but for the citizens.

"We can be tied up over here at a vacant dwelling with an arson, when a citizen really needs our services and there's nobody available right now for the whole side of town because we're all deployed to fire scenes," he said.

Slavik said Engine 50 alone put out six or seven suspected arson fires Wednesday morning. No injuries were reported in any of the fires.

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