Children whose apartment was hit by arson, pitch in to clean up mess

Heartbreak turns into a heartfelt moment. You would never guess these children were in a fire this morning.

Arson investigators say that the fire was intentionally set at the apartment building on Lawndale and Rathbone in southwest Detroit. But it is what happened afterward that has everyone talking.

Meet 6-year-old Richard Ortiz, his cousin Delecia and their friend Isabella. All three kids live in the apartment building that someone set part of it on fire, early Monday morning.

Who would have thought these kids would take the initiative to clean up what an arsonist left behind.

"So nobody would get cut." said Richard Ortiz.

FOX 2: "That's why you cleaned up out here?"

"Yeah," Ortiz said.

Richard was the first to pick up a broom and Delecia joined in soon after and Isabella followed suit. 

"This is part of the window, the window, and all that," said Delicia Ortiz, lifting the garbage container lid, showing what was cleaned up.

"It was a bunch of debris on the front right there and on the side," said Cesta Ortiz. "Big pieces of wood."

The children cleared charred and falling remains of the building they call home.

"It was over there hanging and I was scared of having my cousin over there," Delicia said. "Because I thought it was going to fall and as soon as moved my cousin, it fell down."

Needless to say, their parents are impressed

"I didn't ask them to, their parents didn't ask them to," said Katie Reeves, whose daughter helped clean. "They just picked the broom up and started cleaning."

"It touched my heart knowing that all that happened," Cesta said. "He still took the courage to go and clean up someone else's mess."

And if the recent past is any indication, they could have another chance to do so.

There have been four fires at this apartment building in the past nine months and scrappers were to blame for a pair of fires here in November.

Thankfully no one was hurt during Monday's fire and one person's crime allowed for another's good deed.

"It made the worst day turn to so much better," Cesta said. "*I can honestly say I'm proud to be his mother."

"This is a new generation," said Katie. "We need more kids to do what they're doing."

An arson investigator said they got a tip about who set the fire and that an arrest should be forthcoming.

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