DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit fire officials suspect arson after three abandoned homes burned Wednesday on the city’s east side.

Smoke could be seen for miles after the triple blaze broke out late Wednesday morning on Alma Street, near Chalmers and Houston Whittier.

Four fire trucks were called to the scene.


Detroit Fire Captain David Johnson said his crews were kept busy.

“They had a fire down the street and then they sent us on this one … We pull up and there’s another fire down the street further, and there was a group of guys out here yelling, ‘They’re gonna burn the whole block down.’ So this is the end result,” Johnson said.

Johnson said crews worked to battle hot spots and to keep the fire from spreading to other properties in the area.

On the next street over, Carl, who did not want to give his last name, said a neighbor told him about the fire burning just yards from the back of his home and said embers had landed on his garage.

“I was sittin’ on the porch and the guy across the street from us said, ‘The house in the back’s on fire.’ He thought the house next to us was on fire in the back ’cause you could see it … and it was blazin’ like,” he said. “So, we went back here and that’s when I got the water hose and started sprayin’ on the garage and the house.”

Signs have been posted on homes along Alma Street offering a cash reward for information on the person or persons responsible for setting the fires.

The investigation continues.


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