Detroit Mayor Dave Bing announced his plans Monday to lay off 164 of the city's 881 firefighters by the end of July, reports the Detroit Free Press.

Firefighters are sorely needed in Detroit as many residents have left the city, leaving behind vacant homes that are prone to going up in flames.

More than 100 of the soon-to-be laid off firefighters could get their job back though, if the city secures a federal SAFER grant. They won't know until at least September, according to the paper.

In the meantime, Dan McNamara, president of the Detroit Fire Fighters Association, told the Press that the layoffs would force 16 fire companies to close and put the city at risk.

"We have a disaster waiting to happen that will likely result in not only the loss of property, but potentially the loss of lives," he said in a statement, according to the paper.