Fueled by seemingly limitless adrenalin and a tireless resolve to save a city they love, the lives of the heroic men of Detroit’s Engine Company 50, one of the busiest firehouses in America, are exhilaratingly chronicled in “BURN,” a new film from producer/directors Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez, and executive producer Denis Leary (“Rescue Me”).
“BURN” brings audiences closer into the flames than ever before — into real fires and real collapsing buildings – not the handiwork of a gifted scenic designer or special effects technician. Moreover, these firefighters – living, and dying, every day – are the real thing. The film unflinchingly captures the firefighters’ bravery in the face of incredible danger, personal challenges, inspiring spirit of camaraderie and remarkable sense of humor. Underpaid, underfunded and working with broken-down equipment, these firefighters risk their lives on every shift, boldly facing injury, disablement, illness or death.
Visually stunning and passionately told, “BURN” takes audiences to the front lines of Detroit’s blighted east side, an area beset with 80,000 abandoned buildings, where some residents think of arson as a sport. Since 1950, Detroit’s population has shrunk from 1.8 million to 713,000, leaving some neighborhoods to resemble war zones with one of the highest arson rates in the world. As a point of comparison, Los Angeles, with a population of 4 million, sees 11 structure fires per day, while Detroit sees 30 structure fires daily. Firefighters estimate that more than 90% are set intentionally.
Filmmakers Putnam and Sanchez were given unprecedented access, and their documentary closely tracks the lives of the firefighters over the course of a full year. The film was culled from over 1,000 hours of interviews and additional footage, much of it shot during actual fires, inside blazing, smoke-filled buildings.
Winner of the Audience Award at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival, “BURN” is directed by Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez, and Executive Produced by Denis Leary and Jim Serpico.
A portion of all profits from the film will go to the Leary Firefighters Foundation to purchase new equipment for firefighters.