Police search for firebomber who set family's home ablaze

- UPDATE May 4, 11:23 AM

Police said 28-year-old Donovan Lyles may be responsible for another fire.
 
In February, EMT workers rescued nine people from a house that was firebombed on Avon on the city's west side.
 
The EMT's had to step in because fire crews were battling another fire and couldn't get there immediately.
 
Investigators said they now believe Lyles was behind the firebombing on Avon and the most recent one on Mansfield.
 
If you have any information on Lyles whereabouts call Crimestoppers. You can remain anonymous.
 
 

Police are looking for a man caught on camera firebombing a house on Detroit's west side.

Luckily no one was hurt but the suspect's own daughter was inside the house at the time.

"It started burning on the storm door," Princess Watson said.

Watson's home bears the scars of a night she'll never forget.

"These two windows were totally in flames when I got out of bed," she said. "I saw nothing but fire."

A neighbor's security camera catches the crime in action. Watson's son woke her from sleep around 3 a.m. on Feb. 20.

"(He was) shaking me, 'Momma, momma the house is on fire.'"

On video watch as the flames erupt on her front porch..

"We went right out the door, through what I thought was fire," she said.

The man said to be responsible for the fire is  28-year-old Donovan Lyles.

The victim says this is not a random act. Watson's niece is pregnant with his second child.

"Since she left him, he wanted to make sure the places he knew about, that he would burn them up," Watson said.

And his own 3-year-old was inside the house when the fire broke out.

"If he would have burned us up, he would have burned up his daughter," Watson said.

Luckily for all involved, he wasn't very good at starting fires. Using a one-gallon gas tank he spread gas all over the house.  There are singe marks where it eventually caught fire. But before that ever happened, he went back to the gas station to get more fuel.

Singe marks, and a burnt bush was the only damage done here. Watson knows how lucky her family is.
 
Now months later, they want to make sure he doesn’t get another try.

"They got his picture, his name, address and phone number but they haven't found him yet," Watson said.

And police are hoping you can help track him down.  Call DPD at (313) 596-5200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories