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News reports: Detroit Fire Commissioner Donald Austin to resign. Who will be Charlie’s next victim?

MI Detroit Austin Let It Rip

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It appears WJBK-TV reporter Charlie LeDuff has outlasted another Detroit fire commissioner. TV stations in Detroit are reporting this morning that Commissioner Donald Austin is expected to announce his departure as early as today.


Multiple sources tell WWJ City Beat Reporter Vickie Thomas that Fire Commissioner Don Austin is hanging up his firehouse and retiring as early as Tuesday.

Messages left with the city about Austin stepping down have not yet been returned.

Austin was hired in May 2011 to lead the city’s fire department. Born and raised in Motown, Austin spent three decades at the Los Angeles Fire Department before returning to Detroit.


Sources confirm to 7 Action News that Austin and Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr have agreed to Austin leaving office.

The exact date has not been determined but could be by the end of he year.

Austin created controversy when he advised firefighters to "let it burn" when encountering a fire in an abandoned structure to avoid injury and conserve dwindling resources.

Many fire trucks have been in disrepair with the city's financial problems. Many fire stations have also been closed because of reduced staffing.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • OutOfCronies?

    Must have gotten hired in DC…..

  • ukfbbuff

    I'm sorry to see this occur.

    When he was hired I was glad that some "fresh blood" was going to lead the DFD.   ( I referenced U-2's song Beautiful Day) During his time in office it became apparent that City Politics and funding issues seemed to be his "achellies heel".

     With the bankruptcy, it seems as though he decided he had enough.

    The responsibilities he had, referenced in the documentary "BURN", probably  has affeced his health.  and he's entitled to be "Retired" from his LA job.

    Best wishes in his retirement's and new adventures.




  • 7House

    As the old saying goes "Dont let the door hit you on the way out".  There's wasnt much enthusiasm in the department when he was hired. He was a politician with little interest or knowledge in firefighting. At this point it doesnt really matter who takes his place, it's beyond fixing.

  • ukfbbuff

    Well, I fiund out some additional information at:

    "Motor City Muckracker' online

    Seems Dnald Austin was "under fire" since he took over and his leaving is over wherethe new firefighter test candidates would perform their physical agility test, among other things..