Detroit Angels' Night patrols ready to go

Oct. 26, 2012 at 9:51 AM

DETROIT, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Detroit is gearing up for its three-day Angels' Night effort by citizen patrol groups that take to the streets to fight pre-Halloween fires, officials said.

Angels' Night was created to try to control fires started throughout the city during a period known as Devil's Night, The Detroit News reported.

This year, the Halloween fire threat runs from Monday through Wednesday.

Since Angels' Night started in the mid-1990s, pre-Halloween fires have decreased. In 2011, there were 83 suspicious fires, down from 169 in 2010.

Other precautions taken by city officials include an emergency temporary ordinance that requires anyone attempting to buy gasoline in cans to provide identification, and a 6 p.m. curfew for youths younger than 18.

The Detroit Fire Department had a $250 million cut in its 2012-13 budget and is operating on reduced overtime but that won't be a problem, Fire Commissioner Donald Austin said.

"We're going to open [the overtime policy] up to make sure there are enough firefighters in the city," he said at an Angels' Night meeting last week.

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