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'Gallons Of Gas' Used To Start Vacant House Fire

DETROIT (WWJ) - Firefighters were called to a home on Detroit's west side Wednesday morning in a neighborhood they say they visit all too often.

Fourth Battalion Chief Dennis Holmes said someone set fire to a home on Westbrook near Keeler, not far from Lahser and 5 Mile roads.

"Somebody used about 10 gallons of gas on this and burned it totally down," Holmes said, adding that a proper investigation would need to take place before arson could be determined as the cause.

The house was unoccupied and no injuries were reported. Holmes said firefighters were able to stop the blaze from spreading to other homes which were occupied.

"The house next door, we got some melted windows but that's all the exposure it got. That house is the occupied one, she was pretty scared when she come out of there," he said.

DET Fire 5-29-13
All that's left of a Detroit home after a suspected arson fire. (Credit: Mike Campbell/WWJ Newsradio 950)

Lidia, who lives in that home, said she was frightened when she and saw fire.

"I think it would scare anybody to wake up and see flames like that," she said. "It was so hot that my side windows, the blinds melted on the inside of the house. But the firefighters saved me, they wet my house down first to make sure it didn't catch on fire."

Lidia said she's been trying to get the city to address the number of vacant homes on her street for years now, but "there's been no response what so ever," she said.

John, who lives across the street, said he's just as concerned as his neighbor.

"I just woke up and seen the house burning. Last week, they had the house down the street on fire. Now I'm scared they're going to get the house next to me," he said.

When asked about the high number of burnt out homes on the street, Chief Holmes responded: "This is Brightmoor. This is where we do a lot of firefighting."

Burnt out and vacant detroit homes
A view down Westbrook Street on Detroit's west side shows several burnt out homes among overgrown, vacant lots. (Credit: Mike Campbell/WWJ Newsradio 950)
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