A viral photo of nearly two dozen Detroit firefighters posing in front of a house engulfed in flames will be investigated after it was posted on social media on New Year’s Eve, fire officials said.
The Detroit Fire Department and a number of its firefighters have received severe backlash after being featured in the now-deleted photo, posted to the Detroit Fire Incidents Page on Facebook with a caption that read, “Crew takes a moment to get a selfie on New Years!”
Detroit Fire Commissioner Eric Jones said the posting of the photo will be investigated and disciplinary action will be taken.
“There are a lot of ways to celebrate a retirement,” Jones said in a statement. “Taking a photo in front of a building fire is not one of them.”
Jones added the photo was “inappropriate and unprofessional.”
“Ninety-nine percent of the men and women who go to a scene like that and know what to do,” Jones said. “Behind every fire is a devastated family or property owner.”
Deputy Fire Commissioner Dave Fornell said the photo was taken outside a vacant house on the 600 block of Green Street on the city’s west side, where a fire was reported at 6:34 p.m. Tuesday, reports The Detroit News. The house was too dangerous to enter as firefighters were celebrating a retiring fire battalion chief, he said.
“It was despicable,” Fornell said.
Here’s the house today in SW Detroit.@detroitfire says the home was vacant. The one next to it is as well.
Dep. Commissioner Dave Fornell tells me fire crews could not go inside last night and could only defensively attack the fire. pic.twitter.com/BiG7stPPfR
— Brian Abel (@BrianAbelTV) January 1, 2020