Denis Leary Joins Effort to Make Detroit Fire Film

Leary is planning on putting his time and energy toward raising the close to $80K needed for the film. News

Posted: Tue, 10/25/2011 - 07:09pm
Updated: Wed, 10/26/2011 - 12:24pm

After more than two years, a documentary focusing on Detroit firefighters is nearing completion and now has a famous fire service advocate who could help speed up the process.

The Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday that Denis Leary -- star of the hit FX show "Rescue Me" that recently completed its seven-season run -- will serve as an executive producer for the film "Burn."

Leary is planning on spending his time and energy toward raising the close to $80,000 needed to complete the film.

Jim Serpico, who was an executive producer with Leary on "Rescue Me" will join him on the project.

The goal is to have the documentary completed in time for next year's film festival season.

The film's directors, Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez, spoke to last year about their efforts to shine a light on the obstacles facing Detroit's bravest.

"The firefighters put it all on the line because they believe in the city," Putnam told staff writer Ed Ballam said. "No one else is taking the saving of Detroit as seriously as the firefighters."

Sanchez, a Detroit native, sees the film as a chance to educate people about the city and its struggles.

"For me, as a Detroiter and an American, I see Detroit at a crossroads," she said. "It's an iconic city. People know it as Motown. They know about Kid Rock. They know about Eminem. Everybody has an idea of what Detroit is ... we need to focus on what it can be."

She told the Free Press that a portion of the proceeds from the movie will go to the Leary Firefighters Foundation to buy gear for the Detroit Fire Department.

"Denis Leary and his folks, they do quality stuff and they’re very selective about what they get involved with," she told the newspaper. "We had to really show them where we’re coming from and they get it, they absolutely get it."

The film -- which was prompted by the line of duty death of Detroit Firefighter Walt Harris in 2008 -- has received funding from General Motors and equipment from Apple.

Donations to the film can be made at or