Wednesday, March 4, 2015

If You Want To Find The Source of Any Fire

The Detroit News website ran a series of articles about arson in the Motor City. One of the articles in the series notes that Detroit is the arson capital of the nation. Apparently, it's not even close. 

Naturally, reading these articles put me in mind of my novel, Smoke.  Back when I wrote that book, Detroit was already known for its suspicious fires. It looks as if the firebugs in Detroit have not slowed down.  It must be a wonderfully tempting place for pyromaniacs, some sort of reverse Xanadu. If you want to set fire to things and watch them burn without doing any real harm to anyone, Detroit is your place. 

I remember watching a documentary about the Detroit Fire Department called Burn.  I recall watching video of firemen going out on run after run, trying to put out fires. It occurred to me: Why? Where is the wisdom in attempting to keep abandoned buildings from turning to ashes? Isn't a half-burned building worse than a completely burned building? After all, no one was ever going to rebuild. These were structures that had been abandoned. Putting out fires in Detroit should be the new cliché to replace the old saw about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic
If the articles in the Detroit News interest you, be sure to read Smoke.  Let me know what you think when you are done.

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