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Protest outside southwest Detroit firehouse slated for closure

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Lynne Thomas organized the protest outside Engine 33 in southwest Detroit.  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Lynne Thomas organized the protest outside Engine 33 in southwest Detroit. (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Some southwest Detroit residents chanted Tuesday about the safety of their neighborhood, but this was bigger than just the 100-year-old Engine 33 on Lawndale slated to close this month.  It was a call to the leadership of Detroit.

Arson, neighbors argue, is on the rise.

"We hear the fire trucks go out every night, and in the past few days, I would say they've gone out at least a dozen times to put out fires," said Rolondo Berrelez.

In all, 15 companies will close in the City of Detroit.  Demotions will be part of the
restructuring.

Vacant houses are potential fire land mines, and while firefighters couldn't talk to us on camera, we can tell you that they do have at least 50 calls every single week in this neighborhood.

"Mayor Dave Bing, if you do this, you're foolish," said Lynne Thomas, who started the protest. "You're going to watch your city burn down around you. You're not going to have nothing left."

All of these changes to shave millions off of the city's budget. The mayor's office sticking with
these cuts to support their bottom line, but the bottom line for these neighbors, it's going to be a long and hot summer in Detroit -- fiery, they fear.

"People have died in this neighborhood in the time I've worked here.  I've worked here 15 years now, and a number of people have died in fires," said Dr. Dennis Nordmoe.

"The firemen watch out for all the kids.  They watch out for all the people in the neighborhood, so we're devastated that they would think about closing this fire station," Berrelez said.

However, this is more than a consideration.  It's on the chopping block leaving these neighbors with the only thing they can do, hope the fire bugs will stay home this summer.

So, all the numbers will begin to be reduced on July Fourth in terms of the wheels hitting the ground.  Fox 2 has learned the actual closures will take place by July 19.

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