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Photo appears to show Detroit fire officials in front of burning building


Evan James Carter   | The Detroit News

Detroit — Two weeks after a photo of Detroit firefighters in front of a burning building went viral, photos have surfaced of department brass that a Facebook post says shows them posing in front of burning buildings.

Two photos emerged on social media Monday, one showing Deputy Fire Commissioner Dave Fornell posing in front of a burning building; another appeared to be of Fornell and Detroit Fire Commissioner Eric Jones, according to a Jan. 13 post on the Facebook page The Detroit Scanner. Neither post indicated when or where the photos were taken.

The Detroit Scanner posts information on the Detroit fire and police departments and regional news.

A post that accompanied the photo by The Detroit Scanner seemed to suggest the hypocrisy of Detroit firefighters taking a selfie in front of a burning home on New Year's Eve who were expected to face sanctions, and that of department brass doing what appears to be something similar. 

"No comment," Fornell told The Detroit News on Monday night. He called the photos a "nothing burger."

Fornell would not say exactly when or where the photos was taken, adding that they were taken "very many years ago" when he wasn't an employee of the Fire Department. 

Jones could not be reached for comment by text or cellphone.

John Roach, media relations director for the city, declined to comment on the posts.     

Also see: Detroit firefighters' photo in front of flaming house draws fire

Fornell said the photo on New Year's Eve was taken outside of a vacant house on the 600 block of Green Street on the city's west side, where a fire was reported at 6:34 p.m. The house was too dangerous to enter as firefighters were celebrating a retiring fire battalion chief, he said.

“There are a lot of ways to celebrate a retirement," Jones said in a statement on Jan. 1. "Taking a photo in front of a building fire is not one of them." 

Reached via telephone on Jan. 1, Jones added the photo was "inappropriate and unprofessional."

ecarter@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @EvanJamesCarter