Video: A City in Flames: A look inside Highland Park, Michigan’s War on Arson

There is no question that Highland Park, Mi Firefighters see a lot of fire. Much like the City of Detroit, which surrounds Highland Park, they have some serious obstacles. They don’t have a lot of firefighters, have poor firehouse conditions, work with sub-par equipment, and operate on wore out apparatus. Watch the video below to see what they are up against.


For eight long years, the firefighters of Highland Park, Michigan, worked out of a warehouse. There was no red-bricked facade, no lanky Dalmatian. No freshly washed engines gleaming in the sun. No second-floor fire pole to descend in the dead of night to wailing sirens. Whatever idealized vision you have of firefighting, Highland Park is not it. Instead, picture a hulking, boxy building on the edge of an industrial park about six miles north of Detroit. A small metal sign points the way, light blue with “Fire Dept” stenciled in all-caps white, the previous tenant’s name erased with spray paint. There’s a parking lot strewn with detritus (including a vagabond shopping cart) and beyond that train tracks and Interstate 75, the eight-lane highway that cuts through the heart of Detroit.

a city in flames