A short documentary follows the Highland Park fire department as it does some amazing work with incredibly limited resources. 

For years the firefighters of Highland Park, Michigan, a three-square mile town completely surrounded by the city of Detroit, worked out of a giant warehouse. Why? The city didn't have enough money to maintain the actual fire station. Firefighters have since returned to the condemned building—to put out a fire there. 

In this great new micro-documentary by the team at Verge, we learn that the Highland Park Fire Department fights as many as 200 structural fires a year in a city of 12,000, despite only having a crew of around 30. Many of these fires are the product of "people burning for kicks, or for insurance money, or to clear abandoned property," but some of them are also started by squatters just trying to stay warm. Until stimulus funds gave them a new fire station in August, Highland Park firefighters faced the same problem: It was almost impossible for them to stay warm during their shifts in the plywood rooms they built inside the warehouse.

Spare 13 minutes to watch the documentary (over lunch, perhaps?). You won't regret it. 

Top image: The Highland Park fire department operated out of this warehouse for several years. The Verge/Youtube

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  2. A photo of a new car dealership
    Transportation

    Subprime Auto Loans Are Turning Car Ownership Into a Trap

    A record 7 million Americans are three months late on their car payments, revealing what could be cracks in the U.S. economy.

  3. Transportation

    With Trains Like Schwebebahn, No Wonder Germans Love Public Transit

    Infrastructure like this makes it clear why Germany continues to produce enthusiasm for public transit, generation after generation.

  4. Amazon HQ2

    Without Amazon HQ2, What Happens to Housing in Queens?

    The arrival of the tech company’s new headquarters was set to shake up the borough’s real estate market, driving up rents and spurring displacement. Now what?

  5. A boarded-up bank
    Equity

    Are Reparations Baltimore’s Fix for Redlining, Investment Deprivation?

    The solutions to Baltimore’s inequitable financing problems must be as radical as the policies that segregated the city in the first place, says Lawrence Brown.