DETROIT (WWJ) – Firefighters believe a blaze that quickly engulfed a home on the city’s west side and spread to others nearby was deliberately set.
The fire took off early Friday morning at a home on the I-96 service drive and Allendale Street, near West Grand Boulevard.
Flames quickly tore through one home before spreading to two other neighboring homes, both of which were occupied.
Angie Morris and Demitri Holder said they live in the house that initially caught fire. However, Morris said they haven’t been staying at the house because the electric and gas services had been shut off.
“I was staying at my sister’s house and I got a phone call that my house was on fire and I came over here and it was on fire,” Holder said.
Firefighters rescued two cats from one of the burning homes and managed to save a portion of the home where Priscilla Foster lives.
“I don’t know, seemed like to me somebody torched that house next door. I was laying up there looking at TV in my bedroom when somebody knocked on the door and said ‘Get out the house, next door is on fire,'” Foster told WWJ’s Mike Campbell. “So evidently that was torched because don’t no fire burn like that over nothing like that. Somebody poured gasoline and burned that house.”
But Holder said he’s skeptical about his house being targeted.
“Torched from what,” he asked. “I don’t bother nobody, I don’t mess with nobody.”
“Everything we own is in that house. It’s all gone,” Morris added.
Fire Chief Rick Wright said the fire burned way too quickly to be an accident, although an official cause remains under investigation.
“Absolutely (it looks intentional). It burned quick,” Wright said. “We had a gas meter blow up, that took out the house, leveled it and then we had two extensions,” on either side of the house.
MichCon and DTE Energy crews are on the scene. It doesn’t appear anyone was injured.
An investigation is ongoing.
Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.