Fires kill United States people

On Thursday a fire in an abandoned Detroit home quickly spread to the occupied homes on either side, creating a total loss for the neighbors: here.

This video says about itself:

Detroit firefighter discusses utility shutoffs and budget cuts

ON March 12, Engine Company 40, the busiest in Detroit, held a dinner for Sylvia Young, who lost three of her children in a blaze that started just hours after the family’s utilities were shut off by DTE earlier in the month.

Early Monday morning, January 24, fire destroyed a home on the west side of Detroit where both the gas and electricity had been shut off. The blaze, reported at 5:45 a.m., resulted in the injury of three young people living in the home as well as two firefighters: here.

Unemployed Detroit woman dies in house fire. Poverty, space heaters and steel bars: a common deadly mix: here.

Detroit: Forced to live without heat because energy giant DTE shut off her utilities, Wanda Scott’s elderly father was seized from her home and placed in state custody: here.

In January, the state of Michigan broke into Wanda Scott’s home and took away her elderly father, Walter Scott. They said she was neglectful of his health because she could not afford to heat her home, in effect criminalizing her for poverty. In this video, she speaks about life without heat, the experience of losing her father, and why she is a member of the Committee Against Utility Shutoffs: here.

Budget cuts carried out on the quiet have prevented emergency warming centers in Detroit from opening their doors all winter, leaving thousands of homeless and poor residents in the bitter cold: here.

By Oliver Richards and Kevin Kearney in the USA:

Utility shutoff leads to three deaths in Oakland, California apartment fire

22 January 2011

At around 2 a.m. on December 30, a fire broke at an apartment in Oakland, California, killing three and leaving only one survivor. The fire was sparked by an overloaded extension cord used to provide heat and electricity from a downstairs apartment after power had been cut off upstairs.

Ruth Mejia and her two daughters, Alisson and Ivonne, along with her live-in boyfriend, Guillermo Reyna-Flores, were residing in the apartment when the fire erupted.

Reyna-Flores heroically rescued seven-year-old Alisson and returned to the apartment to save the others, but perished in the fire along with Mejia and three-year-old Ivonne.

Alisson’s father, Nelson Benavides, was in the custody of immigration authorities when the fire broke out. He had been scheduled to be deported back to El Salvador, but this has been indefinitely delayed until a custody decision is made on his daughter….

The deadly fire that broke out in an Oakland apartment involved problems faced by working people throughout the country: unemployment, poverty, utility shutoffs, home foreclosure, and the plight of immigrant workers.

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