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Arson Suspected In 16 Detroit Fires

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DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit firefighters were kept busy by a suspected arsonist Monday morning as crews had to tackle 16 fires on the city’s east side. One firefighter was hurt.

Several of the fires were reported in a half-mile square area overnight in the area of Chene and Mack. That’s where WWJ’s Marie Osborne reports a house, a commercial building and a church sustained damage. It took quite some time for the firefighters to put down the flames.

Even though the fires may have been in abandoned buildings, there are people attached to the dwellings. At the corner of Chene and Pier stands a church heavily damaged by the fire. The Rev. Gary Humphrey was married at the church and has many memories there:

“We were closed down, getting ready to try to redevelop the land,” Humphrey said. “We were gonna redevelop everything and open back up.”

Fighting back tears as he spoke, he said they wanted to open the dwelling back up as the church it once was. It stood there since 1955.

Fires were also reported in neighborhoods near Mt. Elliott, Chene, Ferry, Gratiot, Mack and East Warren.

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