Volunteers in Flint work to douse Devil's Night arson fires before they start
By Andrew Keller, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Arson fire on Hobson, near Saginaw St. in Flint
Arson fire on E. Lyndon, near Saginaw St. in Flint
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -
Local residents were working hard to keep their neighborhoods from burning down on Devil's Night and were trying to keep this Halloween a safe one.
Vacant, boarded up homes are the classic target for arsonists on Devil's Night, which is the night before Oct. 31, and some said they are keeping a close eye on their neighborhood to keep homes from being burned down.
"My mother lives down this street, so yeah, I'm always up and down this street. If you give them a look, they'll go about their business," said Leon Nixon, who lives on Proctor Street on Flint's north side.
Nixon isn't the only one who gave up his personal time to keep the streets safe. Frederick Bush was monitoring an area near Ballenger Avenue Tuesday night as part of the Blue Badge patrol.
"When I think about crimes, it gives me the willies, and the way for me to deal with that is to confront that," said Bush, who joined on to the Blue Badge Volunteer Corps this year.
Blue Badge had more than 50 volunteers working the streets Tuesday night. Those volunteers drove up and down roads with boarded up and vacant homes looking for any suspicious activity. They have a direct line with Flint's police and fire departments if they witness anything that might be out of the ordinary.
"If people watch out for one another, they watch out for their neighbors, neighborhood, their neighborhood watches, I think it'll drastically make a difference," said Bush.
Flint police Chief Alvern Lock agrees. He said since Blue Badge has been together, the numbers of arsons have declined drastically.
"We're doubling our efforts, we're doubling our fire, we're doubling our police, trying to do everything we can to make sure that we keep the arsons to a minimum," said Lock.
The extra patrols were on the streets on Devil's Night and will be on the streets on Wednesday, which is Halloween.
Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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