Failures in the Fire Department are prompting calls for Fire Commissioner Don Austin to retire.

Steve Neavling, Motor City Muckraker

The Detroit Fire Department reported an eye-popping 41% drop in arsons last year, a sunning feat considering Mayor Bing’s administration closed down seven firehouses and laid off firefighters that summer.

Turns out, arsons were vastly underreported. An analysis of records obtained from the Fire Department and insurance analysts shows firefighters responded to more than 5,000 suspicious fires last year but only reported 562 arsons.

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