Image: Lt. Ross Wallace, Lt. Col. Leonard Rusher, Kervin Bryant
Gary Malerba  /  AP file
Michigan National Guardsmen patrol the streets of Detroit on Angel's Night to guard against arson.
updated 11/1/2008 12:49:04 AM ET 2008-11-01T04:49:04

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 65 of the 96 fires reported Thursday through late Friday were suspicious. The total reported was consistent with last year. Two people died Thursday evening 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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