Eviction May Have Sparked Apartment Fire That Hospitalized 8

WWJ News
January 30, 2020 - 11:55 am

DETROIT (WWJ) - Authorities are investigating whether a tenant with a penchant for revenge is behind a suspicious fire at a Detroit apartment building that sent eight people to the hospital. 

The fire took off around 2 a.m. Thursday and quickly spread through the two-story building on Whittier Avenue and King Richard, near Harper Avenue on the city's east side. 

Eight people were taken to the hospital. Two were treated for smoke inhalation while the others were treated for exposure to the cold. All are expected to recover. 

Arson investigations combed through the building with K-9 units and found evidence that the blaze may have been set intentionally. At this point, fire officials will only say that the fire is suspicious. 

Joanne Dodd, whose 58-year-old sister lives in the building, said speculation on the scene is the fire was sparked by someone who is being evicted.

"He already had the key to the building so he know how to get in," Dodd told WWJ's Vickie Thomas. "You got no lights, you got no safety over here; it's pitch black at night. So, going through the alley and you got the key to get in -- it don't take no dictionary to look it up."

Dodd's sister escaped the fire, but her cat died.

The building manager told WWJ one tenant was given a verbal 30-day notice to leave the property because police were constantly being called over domestic violence issues. 

The fire remains under investigation.