I'm back in the US for a quick trip and had the opportuntity to hang out in Detroit for an evening with fellow photographer and Detroiter Tim Galloway. In addition to his editorial work Tim is also a fire chaser which as it turns out is a nearly full time past time.
Detroit has roughly 100,000 abandoned structures creating what seems to be a cottage industry in burning down buildings for profit (or possibly just fun). It is strange to see block after city block with perhaps on one or two houses still standing. The firefighters we met that night said that basically their job in these cases, where the building was not occupied, is to contain the fire so that it does not spread. This particular fire involved (as I recall) 4 fire companies, but would not make the news. That is how prevalent the fires are. Detroit fire fighters take on more fires per head than any other fire fighters in the country. The odds are that this trend will continue as the city continues to cut back on fire fighting services. Check out the excellent documentary film Burn for the real story. My hat is off to these guys.
(Above : Super moon and house bathed in the glow of the neighboring fire).