Saginaw neighbors question fire safety ahead of budget cuts

Two house fires, just a block apart, has Saginaw neighbors on edge about fire coverage. Thatâ??s because 15 firefighters are facing layoffs. City officials say no worries, they have a plan.

Assistant city manager Phil Ludos says his plan is to keep two firehouses open---one on the city's east side and the other on the city's west side. Response times will increase and that has neighbors wondering what will happen to their neighborhood.

Marie Hayes and Willie Braddock are worried about will happen to their neighborhood after seeing two houses go up in flames this weekend.

â??We need them bad because if they close up everything we ain't (sic) gone have nothing. So I think we need to keep them. Period,â?? says Braddock.

Fire ripped through the first floor of 415 Cambrey Street. The pair says cutting 15 firefighters and closing two firehouses will only make things worse.

They shouldn't close those two, period. They should leave it open,â?? says Braddock.

â??They (firefighters) didn't get here in time. They got here as soon as they can but they were still slow,â?? says Marie Hayes.

The other fire happened a block away on the 700 block of Cambrey street. Fire destroyed the basement. No one was hurt but firefighters say that may not be the case after budget cuts.

â??We fight a lot of fires in the city of Saginaw unfortunately and with only 10 guys on the scene of a fire, it's doing more with less and it's probably going to mean more injuries,â?? says Brandon Hausbeck, vice president of the Saginaw firefighters union.

Assistant City Manager Phil Ludos says wait times will increase but mutual aid agreements with neighboring towns will help fight fires.

â??Weâ??re going to change how we perhaps roll out on these things but we're still going to deliver the service. We'll still get to the fires,â?? says Ludos.

Thatâ??s commitment Willie and Marie hope the city can keep.

â??They close up those two, they gonna (sic) close up two more and keep closing them up and then we ain't gonna have nothing,â?? says Braddock.