The New Year is a time for celebration.
But context is everything—especially when you're smiling for a photo in front of a burning building instead of putting it out.
A group of firefighters in Detroit are receiving criticism online for a photo, posted to a Facebook page titled Detroit Fire Incidents Page, which shows the group posing, happy, in front of a burning house.
"Crews take a moment to get a selfie on New Years!"
Detroit Fire Commissioner Eric Jones denounced the "inappropriate and unprofessional" photo, saying:
"There are a lot of ways to celebrate a retirement. Taking a photo in front of a building fire is not one of them."
The Commissioner continued:
"Ninety-nine percent of the men and women who go to a scene like that and know what to do. Behind every fire is a devastated family or property owner."
WXYZ reports, however, that the house the firefighters were posing in front of was vacant at the time, as was the house next door, leading some to think the image may have been of a controlled burn.
The day after the photo was taken, it was removed from Facebook because "[the page] received messages by guys on the job stating that they had been threatened for the photo being posted."
Many people online were critical of the firefighters, some even calling for their termination.
Others, meanwhile, felt the blowback was an internet overreaction.
Of course, the truth is most likely somewhere in between the two extremes.
The situation was likely safe, though the photo may still have been in bad taste.
Remember to celebrate your New Year responsibly, perhaps at a party or with friends, but not in front of a burning building if at all possible.