Deputy Detroit Fire Commissioner Wheeler removed from office - New York News

Deputy Detroit Fire Commissioner Fred Wheeler removed from office after confrontation

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Former Deputy Detroit Fire Commissioner Fred Wheeler  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Former Deputy Detroit Fire Commissioner Fred Wheeler (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Deputy Fire Commissioner Fred Wheeler, who erupted in anger in front of FOX 2 cameras, has been unappointed from his position.

While trying to ask him about conditions inside Detroit firehouses, Wheeler can be seen on camera slapping a microphone out of the hand of FOX 2 reporter Charlie LeDuff.

The incident happened while Leduff was working on an investigation that exposed filthy conditions inside several firehouses.

In a statement, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said, "My administration has investigated the incident between Deputy Fire Commissioner Fred Wheeler and FOX 2 reporter Charlie LeDuff. We have a code of conduct for our appointees and we determined the Deputy Fire Commissioner violated that code in this unfortunate incident. Mr. Wheeler has been unappointed, effective immediately."

Meanwhile, Detroit Fire Commissioner Don Austin had the following comments Thursday on the firehouses:

"What you need to understand is that the average age of the fire station buildings in this city is 80 years old. ... You can't fix years of neglect overnight, and everybody has just got to understand it because it's not rocket science to understand that. So, to try and cast a light like the city's incompetent, the city is not doing it's job, we're doing the very best we can in a very difficult situation, and it's deplorable to have people that do the hard work that the firefighters and EMT do living in a building that is below anyone's standard. So what I can do is to figure out where can we move companies until we can get these problems repaired."

Stay with FOX 2 for the latest developments surrounding this story, including updates on the deplorable conditions that some Detroit Fire Department workers are under and what changes may come -- if any.

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