Detroit has long been known for its Devil's Night fires, the worst one being 800 blazes set in 1984. Since the mid-90's the city has tried to change its image by creating "Angel's Night."
Detroit mayor at the time Dennis Archer created Angel's Night in 1995 to replace the stigma of "Devil's Night" that had news media from around the world reporting on the devastation Detroiters did to their own city on the nights leading up to Halloween.
Tens of thousands of volunteers patrol the neighborhoods to try to keep the arsonists from burning up the homes and buildings. Children under the age of 18 are held under a curfew, not allowing them out to roam the streets after 6 p.m. between October 29 and 31, without a parent or guardian.
According to Freep.com, in 2008 there were 136 fires, while last year, in 2009 it went down to 119 fires. Unfortunately, the fires escalated this past Halloween weekend, turning Angel's Night back towards old Devil's Night with 169 fires set around the city. That is a 42 percent increase from last year.
Detroit Fire Commissioner James Mack said one reason for the increase of fires was due to so many vacant structures in the city.
"Fire officials told the Free Press over the weekend that things got so busy early Sunday, firefighters were told they couldn’t take their breaks because of the volume of calls."
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said a typical night in Detroit has firefighters putting out 40 fires around the city.
City leaders are hoping for more volunteers next year to help with keeping an eye out for arsonists. This year saw 27,000 volunteers helping with the Angel's Night campaign.
“If you just watch your own block, I think we’ll be OK,” Mack said.