Detroit Fire Department captain dies from coronavirus as city's death toll surpasses 250


  • Steve Neavling

The coronavirus has claimed the life of Detroit Fire Department Capt. Franklin D. Williams, Jr.

Capt. Franklin D. Williams, Jr.
  • Capt. Franklin D. Williams, Jr.
The 58-year-old is the first member of the city’s fire department to die from the coronavirus, which has killed more than 250 Detroiters and 959 Michigan residents.

Williams, who was on a ventilator, was an active member of the fire department's Ladder 18.

More than 50 members of the fire department, which includes firefighters and medics, have tested positive for COVID-9, and more than 100 have been under quarantine.

Retired Detroit firefighter Willie Wilkerson also has died from the coronavirus.

The coronavirus also has claimed the lives of two city inspectors, a bus driver, and three members of the police department.

As of Wednesday, 180 members of the police department have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 369 officers were under quarantine. More than 420 officers who were quarantined have returned to work after testing negative for COVID-19.

Two state lawmakers from Detroit — Reps. Tyron Carter and Karen Whitsett —have tested positive for the coronavirus, and state Rep. Isaac Robinson, also from Detroit, died from a suspected infection.

Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones also tested positive for COVID-19.

The coronavirus has hit Detroit disproportionately hard, taking root in the Black community, which generally is more vulnerable due to structural racism in health care and housing. Nearly 6,000 Detroiters have confirmed infections.

Detroit has a higher coronavirus death rate than New York City.

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