DETROIT (WWJ) – A massive fire broke out early Tuesday morning on Detroit’s east side, spreading to several buildings and displacing at least one family.

The fire broke out around 6 a.m. on Hardyke Street, near Van Dyke and Harper, just north of I-94. Wind gusts were reported at over 20 miles per hour, as the fire engulfed two vacant homes and quickly spread to Tiffanie Alston’s house.

“Everybody was asleep and so when I heard glass breaking, that’s what made me jump up and realize something was wrong. And by the time I got into the hallway, it was nothing but orange flames, my curtains were on fire and the smoke was so intense, it filled up the whole upstairs,” Alston said.

The 31-year-old mother went into rescue mode and raced against the clock to get her three kids, ages 9, 10 and 11, and her 61-year-old father out of the home.

“It was just like a lot of heat and bright light and it was upstairs so there was only one way we could get out. So, it was like I had to run back and get my kids because there were frightened to come out of their room and then I had to go all the way to the basement to get my father out,” she said.

Now, Alston is wondering how she’s going to pick up the pieces, especially since she doesn’t have any homeowners insurance. She said the American Red Cross is helping her out.

“Everybody is ok, health wise, and you know, you can always start over. It’s going to be hard, it’s going to be a struggle but at least nobody got hurt,” she said.

Fire Chief Craig Robinson said arson investigators are on the scene but the cause of the fire remains a mystery at this time. No injuries were reported.

Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and for the latest.


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