A Flint official says fire service calls have declined due to a citywide effort to demolish abandoned houses.
The latest report by Emergency Manager Darnell Earley announced a 58 percent decline in fire-related calls. The report credits increased demolition of blighted properties, a door-to-door fire education campaign and 911 call-screening techniques that allow fire departments to make better use of equipment and personnel.
But the Flint Fire Firefighters Union President says he is unsure how much the demolitions have impacted the number of fires his firefighters respond to.
A local legislator says an abandoned house is 10 times more likely to catch fire.
Genesee County plans to demolish more than 1,500 residential properties.