Dozens of houses burned down in Detroit Tuesday as fires blazed through all parts of the city, overwhelming the local fire department.
Firefighters were brought in from the surrounding cities of Harper Woods, Warren, Dearborn, Grosse Pointe and Highland Park, the first time the city called in outside firefighters since the 1967 riots.
Residents and firemen said that the majority of the fires were caused by downed electrical wiring. According to residents, DTE, the city’s main electrical company, failed to respond in a timely manner to complaints about the failure of the electrical infrastructure.
A total of 85 structures caught fire after heavy winds downed over 700 power lines, according to statements by Detroit Fire Commissioner James Mack and DTE officials.
The largest fire, which destroyed at least a dozen houses, took place on Robinwood Street on the city’s East Side. The blaze was apparently set off when a power line or transformer, which had been shooting sparks for days, ignited and set fire to a garage.