Detroit apartment fire that killed 5 set after apparent argument

A burned up shell of an apartment building is all that's left on Detroit's east side where five innocent lives were lost. It's believed that that first was intentionally started because of an argument.

"You shouldn't put it on other people, he took five lives," Cliff Brown said.

Detroit police arrested a 56-year-old man Thursday night just after the apartment on Whittier and Beaconsfield went up in flames.

Detroit police arrest suspect in fatal apartment fire that killed 5

"I seen people jumping out the window and then they go back up to the building and ask the other people to jump. I guess they were too scared to jump and they got burnt," Brown said.

Neighbors and the apartment owner say the man who caused the blaze had some sort of argument with another tenant. Neighbors said they hearing him making threats just a day before.

"Basically it's to the affect that he would bomb the building," "It's just ironic to me that the next day, the building is on fire."

Theres not much left of the apartment which housed people with different disabilities. One of the victims was a blind man - Raymond Davis. Another victim was 62-year-old Leo Dear who got stuck upstairs when the fire took over.

Deputy Fire Commissioner David Fornell said one man, who is still in the hospital, broke one of the windows trying to escape, causing the wind to rushed in, which only fueled the fire.

"The wind did not help things whatsover. It made things much worse for us and those inside," Fornell said.

Ossia Shannon had a friend who lived in the building. She called him Callaway and said she was relieved when she saw he made it out alive.

"He was in the back. he was back there where they said the fire was mostly lit up," Shannon said. "He's just shook up and nervous right now."

The city says the apartment was last inspected three years ago and had only minor unrelated violations. The smoke detectors were working inside the building. However, the apartment does not have a valid certificate.

According to sources, the man in custody even blocked the escape route after starting the fire. Sources say he has a long criminal history including assault, drug possession, robbery and larceny.

Detroit police tell Fox 2 he will likely face a new slew of charges including open murder and arson. He could be arraigned as early as Friday.
 


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