BURN: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit
@ 7:30 PM
March 15, 2013
@ 7:30 PM
BURN is an action-packed documentary capturing a year in the lives of Detroit firefighters who are charged with the thankless task of saving a city that many have written off as dead. Firefighters have an up-close view of the best and worst in any city. This is especially true for Detroit. Detroit is a picture of American industrial cities in a post-industrial age: One foot in a prosperous past, struggling to survive in a changing economy.
Since 1950, racial tensions and vanishing industry have cut Detroit’s population in half from 1.8 million, leaving behind 80,000 abandoned structures, or kindling, as the firefighters call it. The result is a dying city with one of the highest arson rates in the world. Los Angeles, a city of 4 million people, sees 11 structure fires per day. Compare that to Detroit, which has 713,000 residents and 30 structure fires a day. Because, in Detroit, social problems manifest themselves in one way – FIRE.
BURN is about an exceptional breed of men and women who battle that beast, despite low pay, dysfunctional gear, under life-threatening conditions. And they do it with camaraderie and a remarkable sense of humor. They’re certainly not here for the money — their starting salary is $30,000 and they haven’t seen a raise in 10 years.
Closer than you’ve ever been, BURN takes you into the fires and into the hearts of the men who fight them, exploring human struggles, hope and personal courage in the face of overwhelming odds. Producer/directors Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez embedded with the crew of Engine Company 50 — one of the busiest firehouses in America. Located on Detroit’s blighted east side, E50 stands at ground zero of the city’s problems. Over the course of a year, BURN gets an inside look at the people who, despite the challenges and dysfunction, risk their lives, day after day, resolved that they can make a difference.
Every time the alarm goes off, the crew of E50 steps into their worn boots, jumps onto decrepit trucks and drives out into the crumbling streets of Detroit to battle these complex problems. The film may be told through the eyes of Detroit firefighters, but BURN isn’t just about a single city. It’s about all national first responders, whose budgets are on the chopping block. It’s about the people you hope will make it to YOUR house when there’s a fire.
A significant portion of any proceeds from the film will go to the Leary Firefighters Foundation to purchase much-needed gear for Detroit firefighters.