Statement from City of Flint Fire Department Chief Raymond Barton

FLINT, Mich. – August 10, 2022

The following is a statement from Flint Fire Department Chief Raymond Barton:

I would like to once again offer the Flint Fire Department’s and the community’s deepest sympathy to the family and all of those impacted by the tragic loss of two children during the house fire in the 600 block of West Pulaski Street on May 28, 2022.

State fire investigators have ruled that electrical wiring in the residence caused this devastating fire. Additionally, the Flint Fire Department launched its own internal investigation into this matter. These findings were reviewed by the Flint Police Department and the Administration. I am confident in the integrity of the process and the results.

As a result of this investigation, we identified reasons for disciplinary action. Effective July 25, 2022, one of the firefighters on the scene of the West Pulaski fire submitted his letter of resignation, which the City has accepted. A second firefighter has been disciplined. This internal investigation is complete unless new information is discovered.

I do want to assure the City of Flint that there is no compromise when it comes to protecting this community. My expectation is that every one of our firefighters will perform their duties at the highest level at all times. This department will not settle for anything less.

The following is a statement from Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley regarding the same matter:

I have full confidence in the thorough investigation conducted and ultimately, Chief Barton’s decision. The safety and security of our residents is paramount and must not be compromised. Period. We demand that our firefighters protect and serve our citizens; therefore, we must have the highest standards for their performance and zero tolerance for those who don’t meet expectations. I stand with the fire department and our community in continuing to lift the family in prayer.