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Fire Breaks Out Near Detroit's Heidelberg Project

DETROIT (WWJ) - Authorities are investigating a fire at an artist's house near the arson-plagued Heidelberg Project in Detroit.

Fire broke out early Thursday morning at the Detroit Industrial Gallery, an installation by artist Tim Burke, on Heidelberg Street near Ellery Street.

The house is still standing but the interior has been gutted by the flames.

A neighbor told WWJ's Mike Campbell the house caught fire around 4 a.m., at which time they claim to have also heard a car leaving the scene. Reports indicate firefighters might have found evidence that gasoline was dumped at the front of the house.

Authorities say the cause of the fire remains under investigation. No injuries were reported.

The Detroit Industrial Gallery is located on the same street as the Heidelberg Project but is not associated with the outdoor art space.

The Heidelberg Project has been targeted by arsonists nearly a dozen times since last year. The most recent fire was in March. Police have yet to identify any suspects or make any arrests.

Nearby residents like Anthony Fullmore don't understand why someone would destroy a positive attraction that has brought world-wide attention to the city.

"This situation, I thought it had stopped. Hopefully, it's not arson and it just might have been an electrical problem. Hopefully that's what happened," he said. "If not, then it's starting back up again and, you know, the residents around here, we're getting sick and tired of the situation."

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