Vigilance deters Halloween eve arsons in Detroit

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DETROIT (AP) -- Vigilance by fire officials and volunteers appears to have kept the number of arsons low in Detroit on the night before Halloween, which had become notorious as "Devil's Night" in years past.

Mayoral spokesman Daniel Cherrin said 47 of the 65 fires reported Thursday and early Friday were suspicious. The total reported was consistent with last year. Two people died in what is believed to be an accidental house fire, Cherrin said.

At its peak in 1984, 810 fires were reported in Detroit from Oct. 29 to 31, fueled by Devil's Night's growing notoriety and the city's large number of abandoned buildings.

With large volunteer anti-arson campaigns in recent years, and the day before Halloween renamed Angels' Night, just 147 fires were reported on those three days last year.

About 35,000 volunteers had signed up with the city for this year's Angels' Night.

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