DETROIT (WWJ) – Investigators have determined that was arson was the cause of an explosion that leveled a motorcycle clubhouse last week on Detroit’s west side.

Detroit firefighters smelled gas immediately following the devastating fire at the building that housed the Detroit chapter of the Street Royalty Motorcycle Club, at Dexter Avenue and Webb Street — and tentatively gave the cause as a gas leak.

After a crew from DTE Energy determined that there was no natural gas involved in the blast, arson investigators were called to look into it further.

“Our arson dog Pasta hit on a couple of spots that we believe flammable liquid was used,” Deputy Detroit Fire Commissioner Dave Fornell said. “And then sure enough, when the analysis came back from the laboratory we determined that flammable liquids were used in the building, and so we’re calling it an arson fire.”

When the structure collapsed, it sent debris flying into the parking lot of a neighboring auto shop. Several cars in the lot were damaged, but no one was hurt.

The building housed the Detroit chapter of the Street Royalty Motorcycle Club — a national organization “dedicated to fun,” according to their website.

There have been no arrests in the case.

Fornell told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill that an investigation is ongoing. “Our team is out and we’re interviewing people and that type of thing and they’re still hardworking on this,” he added.

Fornell said he does not know if any threats were made against the club or its members. No suspects have been named and a motive for the crime remains unclear at this time.


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