Mount Pleasant firefighters scrambled throughout the city to put out numerous dumpster and couch fires late Thursday night and early Friday morning.
Main Street and the Jamestown and Deerfield Village apartment complexes each saw one couch fire, while the Lexington Ridge Apartments, 3700 E. Deerfield Road, saw four dumpster fires, Mount Pleasant police confirmed.
St. Clair Shores junior Alan Innes witnessed the start of the fire on Main Street as six individuals carried a couch into the street.
“I saw a group of people take the couch out from behind a house and put it in the street and poured gasoline on it and set it on fire,” Innes said.
Around 150 people gathered around the fire chanting “CMU” and “Eric Fisher,” similarly to Sunday morning’s couch fire on Franklin and Gaylord streets.
“The cops were taking care of an accident that occurred on High and Main streets, so they got here in five minutes,” Innes recalled. “It took the fire department about a half an hour to get here though.”
Greenville junior Kyle Norman was across the street when the couch was first lit and was surprised by what followed.
“There were people jumping back and forth over the fire once it was lit; people were running up in front of it getting their pictures taken, too,” Norman said. “There was this huge crowd that came out of nowhere that just started to surround it. It was very tribal.”
The Mount Pleasant Police Department was seen patrolling the area following the fire.
Norman said he is surprised by the number of fires recently.
“People are just losing their respect for the community,” Norman said. “People are losing their respect for the university and themselves. They just want to destroy things.”
Ashley Calhoun, a Homer senior, saw more fires than she cared to while living near the borderline of trees that separate Deerfield Village apartments, 3400 E. Deerfield Road, and Lexington.
“I live next to the border and smelled the fire, so I walked outside, and there was a burning couch,” Calhoun said. “People are getting creative with their burning materials. I’ve seen a couple dumpsters, there have been a few air soft can explosions, and now, this couch in Deerfield.”
Along with the four dumpster fires in Lexington, the Deerfield fire burned on grass in an uncontrolled area.
The first of the four dumpster fires in Lexington were caused by boat flares, which were tied to the ends of broom handles.
As previously reported by Central Michigan Life, a Mount Pleasant Fire Department official said they had gotten back to the station when they received word of a second dumpster fire from Lexington Ridge Apartments.
“I had just filled the truck up with water when we got the call,” the MPFD official said. “I didn’t have time to do anything else.”
The official said dumpster fires have become commonplace at this time of year.
It is unknown whether any arrests have been made in connection to the fires.