Detroit firefighters pose in front of burning home, investigation launched


(CNN) – Officials in Detroit are investigating a photo posted on social media on New Year’s Eve. The photo shows city firefighters posing in front of a house that’s engulfed in flames.

A manager for the Facebook page that posted the image told WXYZ 7 Action News it was a farewell photo for a chief who is retiring.

When people on social media saw the picture, they were quick to react.

“I think it’s the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while. Let it cook down to the basement,” one comment read.

Another person wrote, “Let it burn. They are actually cleaning up the city this way.”

While others are questioning the firefighter’s professionalism, writing, “This puts a really bad rep on your company to the community” and “I hope that was a staged fire. I’d hate to think my firemen were posing for pictures while a real house was burning.”

The fire, however, not staged.

Detroit Fire Department said the home was vacant and conditions forced a defensive position not allowing crews to go inside to knock the fire down.

However, in a statement, Detroit Fire Commissioner Eric Jones announced an investigation underway, saying, “There are a lot of ways to celebrate a retirement. Taking a photo in front of a building fire is not one of them. We will investigate this matter and follow the facts where they lead us. If this photo is verified, discipline will be in order.”

Some neighbors of the home say firefighters doused the adjacent abandoned house with water and contained the fire. While others tell WXYZ they aren’t concerned with the photo.

“As long as the fire was put out and as long as it didn’t spread to any other houses in the neighborhood, that was fine. I mean I appreciate their promptness in getting there and putting the fire out. That’s all I was concerned about.”


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