There's been an arrest in the arson fire that sent seven Detroit firefighters to the hospital and it appears to be a case of arson-for-hire.
The U.S. Attorney's office in Detroit has charged 29-year old Samson Wright in a criminal complaint on an allegation of arson. The fire broke out one week ago.
Wright appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge for his initial appearance Friday afternoon. He'll be held until a detention hearing Monday.
The complaint charges Wright with one count of destruction of a building used in or affecting interstate commerce, by fire. If convicted he faces five to 20-years in prison.
"This is an important case that the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office has worked on with the Detroit Fire Department and federal authorities for the last several days," Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement. "The Michigan arson statute carries a 10 year maximum penalty upon conviction, however, the federal statute has a substantially higher penalty. We are always committed to the cause of justice, and in this particular instance, justice is better served if the case is prosecuted in the federal system."
United States Attorney Barbara McQuade hinted more charges could be brought.
"We will continue to work collaboratively in this investigation until all those involved in this arson for hire are brought to justice," McQuade said.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Fire, the Detroit Fire Department's arson unit, the Detroit Police Department, and the Michigan State Police are investigating. ATF agents were questioning seven people Thursday.
Monday, investigators confirmed that the fire was the work of an arsonist. A 15-thousand dollar reward has been posted for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Anyone with information should call 888-ATF-FIRE.
The firefighters were injured when a wall fell on them. Four remain in serious condition.
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