Detroit Firefighters Face Punishment for Controversial Photo
The Detroit Fire Department says it will punish several crew members who took a group photo while responding to a burning home in late December.
So far, a dozen firefighters and four sergeants have been disciplined.
The crew members say they took the photo as a farewell to a retiring captain.
But the photo has been scrutinized because it gives the impression that the crew wasn’t doing their job.
Investigators say they were trying to contain the fire, and even went into the burning home, but the chief had to pull crews out because the flames were so strong.
They took the photo while in what’s called defensive posture, making sure the blaze doesn’t spread.
The house was vacant and under renovation at the time.
Chris Smith, with the Detroit Firefighters Association, says the crew should not be overly scrutinized for the incident.
“These men and women shouldn’t be judged professionally or personally on this incident,” he says. “We understand the appearance and I’m sure these men and women do, too. And we just want to remind the public that these are same men and women that serve and protect.”
Neither the union nor the city are giving specifics on the penalties against those involved in the photo.
And the homeowners are not commenting because they’re suing the city of Detroit over the matter.