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Battling Detroit's Arson Epidemic

Over at TheAtlantic.com's Video channel, Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg chats with the filmmakers behind Burn, a forthcoming documentary that follows a Detroit fire department company for a full year as they do battle with one of the worst arson rates in the country.

Co-directors Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez are still in the editing room on the film, but based on some of the early footage (see below for selected scenes and a teaser trailer), it looks like they've got a powerful story on their hands. Here's how Putnam describes their initial approach:

Our journey as filmmakers, and one of the central questions of the film, is why, in a city with 80,000 abandoned structures, would someone put their lives on the line to save one? What kind of people care about this city, a place many outsiders have written off, enough to put their lives on the line every day to save it?

Footage from Burn shot on an HD helmet cam:

Teaser trailer:

 

Sanchez and Putnam are also still working on securing the last of their funding. To support the film, visit their Kickstarter page.

Sommer Mathis is editor of The Atlantic Cities. Previously she spent five years editing and reporting on the D.C. metro area at DCist.com and TBD.com. All posts »

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