Arson Investigation Underway as Firefighters Laid Off

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DETROIT -- Layoff notices have people in Detroit fearing for their safety. Not because crime is on the rise but because 164 firefighters are losing their jobs and there is a firebug on the loose.

Detroit's mayor says he didn't want to layoff dedicated public safety personnel but he has to. So far, 11 fires have been deliberately set and one firefighter suffered minor injuries. Neighbors worry that there won't be enough fire personnel to respond to fires.

"I'm looking at this house and my neighbor starts yelling 'the one behind you is burning' and so they had set both of them afire at the same time," said Iona Monfort.

The president of the Detroit Firefighters Association says this is the worst decision that could be made.

"This is not going to work in the city of Detroit.  Something's got to give and we're concerned that it's going to be safety of its citizens and the safety of its firefighters," said Dan McNamara with the Detroit Firefighters Association.

The mayor believes about 108 of the positions will be restored through federal money called the Safer Grant. He also says there is a plan to keep the public safe while the city waits for the federal grant. The department currently has a staff of 1,257.

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