Arsonist is on the loose

By Charles Sercombe

Hamtramck is being hit with a wave of small fires.

Since Oct. 5, the Fire Department has reported about 10 arson-suspected fires, several of which involved the burning of city-issued blue garbage cans.

“I’m wondering if we have a firebug in town,” said Fire Marshal Paul Wilk.

Some of the fires were set at the back porches of vacant houses. The rash of fires has city officials and residents a little edgy since “Devil’s Night” is fast approaching. For those unfamiliar with “Devil’s Night,” it’s the night before Halloween, and in years past a night that arsonists would set numerous fires in the Detroit area.

That phenomenon, however, has been greatly curtailed through public safety campaigns and stepped up volunteer patrols. The night is now dubbed “Angel’s Night.”

Wilk said most of the fires have occurred in the Caniff-Trowbridge area and also happen at night.

Some of the fires at vacant homes may be set to collect insurance money, Wilk said.

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