By Vickie Thomas

DETROIT (WWJ) – An arson suspect is under arrest, following a fire on Detroit’s east side Friday morning.

WWJ’s Vickie Thomas reports a lieutenant and police officer with the Eastern District Special Operations Unit were out on routine patrol in the area of East Seven Mile and Outer Drive when they spotted two men around 2:15 a.m.

One of then men was carrying a large garbage bag which he reportedly dropped when he saw police. The department says the man tried to run, but was arrested. In the bag, police found several gas containers and clothing that smelled of gasoline. The second suspect got away.

Moments later, the officers saw smoke coming from the direction of a large commercial building, which had become engulfed in flames. Fire Chief Gary Lauer said it was a fast-moving fire that quickly went to three alarms.

“We were able to contain it to two of the four businesses that were in there,” he said, adding the fire strained department resources.

“Most of the companies on the east side here were involved, plus there were other fires going on at the same time which made it more challenging because the fire companies had to come from longer distances to get here,” said Lauer.

Although hazardous materials crews were on the scene, Lauer said there was no detection of any chemicals inside the building. There were no reports of injuries.


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