Firefighters smothered blazes scattered throughout the city overnight as thousands of volunteers walked the streets to deter arsonists on Devil's Night, Detroit's annual Halloween eve fire spree.
Fire officials refused to say how many blazes they fought, but some volunteers said they believed there were fewer than last year. Police said arrests for violating a 6 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew were down by more than a third.One volunteer patrolling the streets, Ray Wright, said he saw only one small fire in his neighborhood.
"It's definitely down from last year," he said.
Alberta Blackburn, a volunteer in the northwest part of the city agreed.
"We have now buried Devil's Night," Blackburn said.
But City Councilman David Eberhard said there were more fires across town.
"The northeast has been this bombed-out Berlin section since the 1960s," said Eberhard, who went from fire to fire Tuesday night. "We are doing this to ourselves."
A smoky haze lingered in many areas, and it appeared likely there were more fires than the 60 reported on an average night in Detroit.
No injuries were immediately reported.
A vacant house near the border of wealthy Grosse Pointe was ablaze. At least 70 spectators, some taping with video cameras, stood by.
Mayor Coleman Young's office said it would release the number of fires over the three-day period on Thursday.
Last year, the mayor's office reported 223 fires Oct. 29-31, 115 of those on Devil's Night. The fire-fighters union, however, said there were more than 400 fires.
On Tuesday, police arrested 91 curfew violators from 6 p.m. to midnight, down from 154 in the same period last year.