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Detroit close call revisited: Additional video from warehouse & other Detroit fires with Belgian ride-alongs. Plus more on the controversial Charlie LeDuff comments.

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Previous coverage of reporter Charlie LeDuff’s comments

Previous coverage of close call involving Belgian firefighter

John Hanley was the videographer out of Toronto who captured the close call in Detroit Thursday night involving the Belgian firefighter who almost fell through the roof during a two-alarm vacant warehouse fire at John R and State Fair. In the clip above is John’s additional video from the same fire and a series of other fires in Detroit last week.

You will see more of the visiting Belgian firefighters on John’s video, particularly starting at 7:25 during a fire at Colfax and Vancouver.

The vacationing firefighters from Belgium who were riding along and training with the Detroit Fire Department became somewhat of a target of WJBK-TV reporter Charlie LeDuff on Friday. In a commentary where LeDuff also took some shots at the critically acclaimed movie “Burn”, LeDuff reported the visiting firefighters were part of Commissioner Donald Austin’s “pay to spray” plan (my term) and forked over $2,000 each to the City of Detroit. STATter911.com was contacted Saturday by Marc Opstal one of the Belgian firefighters who said while the firefighters did each pay their travel expenses, they were “guests of the Detroit Fire Department and did not pay a dime for this”.

That I’ve seen, there has been no update or correction on WJBK-TV’s site. LeDuff has long fought for improvements in the Detroit Fire Department and is normally a favorite of a lot of firefighters, including many readers of STATter911.com. This time though LeDuff is taking a lot of heat in the comments section on the WJBK-TV site from people who describe themselves as fans of the reporter. Here is an example:

Charlie, please, you lost me as a huge fan on this one!   You missed the boat! This film was about love, dedication, and a job well done by the DFD.   If you want to go see it I will buy you a ticket for this evening. As the proud mother of a Detroit Firefighter I really to took offense to your writing.

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