The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Detroit:
No water to put out fire

Oct 24, 2005

For lack of inspectors, abandoned buildings in Detroit weren’t condemned; for lack of water pressure, a fire starting in October in one building spread to three others.

The building where the fire started had become a dumping ground for industrial waste from businesses all around the neighborhood. It quickly spread to an abandoned plastics company next door. Propane tanks, old tires, and 50-gallon drums were soon engulfed. Neighbors said all the buildings should have been condemned long ago.

Firefighters were delayed in putting out the fire – because fire hydrants nearby didn’t work! And because of the distance to connect to working hydrants, water pressure was very low.

The fire was not under control until four hours later, and it smoldered for days. Thick clouds of black smoke contaminated the neighborhood.

While the city funnels money to rich developers and corporations, it endangers residents’ lives by leaving buildings standing, encouraging toxic dumping, and letting its infrastructure fall apart.