DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit police think a house fire that claimed the lives of two people on the city’s northeast side was intentionally set.
The fire happened early Friday morning at a brick bungalow in the 20000 block of Spencer, near 8 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue.
Police said a body of a 49-year-old woman was found in a front room. The woman’s 16-year-old son, who was found in a back bathroom, was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Reporting from the scene, WWJ’s Mike Campbell said police are questioning the woman’s 18-year-old son, who was taken back to the station in handcuffs. The teenager allegedly told police he had taken the bus home from work and was walking toward his house when he saw the fire and smoke.
Neighbor Brian Woods, who lives across the street, said he tried to help the family after talking to the frantic teenager outside of the blaze.
“He approached us saying his mom and his little brother were still in the house, and that was that. I had put on some clothes and tried to go help them out, tried to break the windows on the side of the house but that didn’t work because the fire was too bad. You know, then I had to call [the fire department] a second time after he said his mom was in the house and that’s when the fire department came,” he said.
Other circumstances surrounding the fire remain unclear. Arson investigators are on the scene, trying to determine a cause of the fire.
“The investigators are doing their job right now, they’re working very diligently to find out exactly where this fire took place and how it got started,” said Sgt. Michael Woody.
Tracy, who lives down the street, said the neighborhood just isn’t what it used to be. While nearly every house on the street is occupied, Tracy said people are always loitering around throughout the day and night, which makes her uneasy.
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