Detroit mayor fires top fire officials

Jan. 7, 2011 at 9:49 PM

DETROIT, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Detroit Mayor Dave Bing fired the fire commissioner and his deputy, saying the city needs someone to fix response times and update fire equipment.

Commissioner James Mack and Deputy Commissioner Seth Doyle were forced to hand in their resignations, the Detroit Free Press reported. Bing promised a nationwide search for replacements.

While the problems in the fire department have been building up for years, a windstorm in September showed how poor its response could be. In one night, 85 fires were reported, most of them started by branches falling on power lines, and 70 houses burned down, a toll that brought back memories of the Mischief Night arson sprees of decades past.

"When things aren't working, we will make the moves necessary to protect the services and citizens of the city," Bing said. "We have to peel this onion back and get the problem fixed."

Bing said Thursday he discovered Mack had failed to report an alleged theft by a firefighter. A wallet allegedly stolen during a carbon monoxide check and was returned after the owner complained.

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