Tag Archives: detroit arson

Man accused of arson that killed Detroit firefighter faces murder trial

The 27-year-old businessman accused of paying a handyman $20 to burn a vacant house — a blaze that claimed the life of a Detroit firefighter — has been bound over for trial, the county Prosecutor’s Office said today.

Mario Willis is charged with felony murder and arson of a dwelling in the death last November of Walter Harris, a 17-year veteran of the Detroit Fire Department.

The handyman who set the fire, Darian Dove, 40, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder as part of a deal to testify against Willis.

Source: By ZLATI MEYER (Free Press staff writer)

 

Ok, I have to flat out disagree with MURDER charges here. The house was vacant when the fire was set, they did not intend to hurt anyone. Should they be punished? Yes, of course. But murder charges? Really? If they knew someone was in the house or weren’t sure and set the fire anyways, then yeah, murder charges. But this firefighter responded to the scene and died doing his job, I don’t see how that warrants a charge of murder.

What do YOU think?

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Devil’s Night 2009 Stats Released!

The final numbers are out for this year’s Devil’s Night(which the city is trying to call Angel’s Night from now on): 119 fires in the 3 day Devil’s Night period. This is down 12% from last years total of 136 fires. The effort can be accredited to the Detroit Fire and Police departments, Department Of Homeland Security, and 30,000 individual volunteers, compared to over 50,000 volunteers last year.

It amazes me that there are still those who wish to destroy the city they live in, and then criticize people like me for filming it and posting it to the internet. The finger should be pointed at those destroying the city, not filming it… am I right?

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Devil’s Night

Hi all! It’s been a few weeks since my last post, and considering today is Halloween, I figured it’s the perfect time to talk about Devil’s Night. If you live in Detroit, you already know what this is. Locally, the night before Halloween is known as “Devil’s Night”… other parts of the country call it mischief night. For most people across the country, this night is known for kids going out and egging, TP’ing, ding-dong-ditch, and petty pranks. Leave it to the fine folks of Detroit to step it up a few notches by burning down hundreds of buildings every year on this night!

It wasn’t always this bad, though. Not too long after the riots in 1967, which resulted in the phenomenon known now as white flight (all the whites left Detroit and moved to the suburbs because they no longer felt safe in the city), the minor crimes and acts of petty vandalism soon escalated to much more devastating acts like arson in the early 1970s. The inner city neighborhoods took the brunt of the destruction, which peaked in the mid 1980s with more than 800 fires set in 1984, and 500 to 800 fires in the three days and nights before Halloween in a typical year.

Although the number of fires had begun to decline in the 1990s, the threat of fires still loomed every year. After Devil’s Night in 1994, which saw over 200 fires and killed a 1 year old girl, then mayor Dennis Archer promised city residents arson would not be tolerated. In 1995, Detroit city officials organized and created Angel’s Night on and around October 29-31. Each year as many as 50,000 volunteers gather to patrol neighborhoods, which has drastically reduced the number of fires.

The numbers for this year’s Devil’s Night wont be released for another 48 hours, but thus far only 11 suspicious fires were reported from 9pm Thursday to 6am Friday. The city averages 10 to 20 suspicious fires a day anyways, so it would seem Detroit has finally quelled the infamous Devil’s Night arsons. My theory, though: They’ve already burned every structure other than their own homes, and therefore there is nothing left to burn. Of course, I am kidding… there is no shortage of abandoned buildings in Detroit!

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