Thousands of Detroiters have had their tap water cut by the city for late bills in what the United Nations considers a humanitarian crime. At the same time as water won’t flow from the tap, hundreds – if not thousands – of the city’s fire hydrants no longer function.
Arsonists know this. They also know barely any of the of fires set each year get investigated. How many fires are we talking here? Motor City Muckraker recently tallied the total.
10,000 fires in just three years. That’s how fast Detroit is burning. Like so many stories of collapse in Michigan, you have to ask: how the fuck did it get this bad?
Since the riots in the early 1940’s and late 1960’s, fire has been a common tool of the discontented, the outraged, the hopeless, and the pyromaniacs of Detroit. Devil’s Night (on the eve of Halloween each year) became a legendary evening of arson for the city, with one single night in the 80’s claiming hundreds of buildings.
Today, 4th of July has replaced Devil’s Night as the new date of mass conflagration. Last summer on July 4th the Detroit Fire Department responded to over sixty calls in 24 hours.