Squatter dies in house fire on Detroit's east side

- A young man is dead after a house fire in Detroit. Arson investigators believe space heaters or an illegal electrical hookup may be to blame.

Neighbors and investigators believe the man living in the home on Lawley was a squatter. Neighbor Patricia Courtner says just the other day the victim helped her move a piece of furniture.

"They brought these benches to my house from around the church because the church is leaving," she says. She says the victim's name was Patrick and that he worked as a car mechanic for neighbors.

Fire investigators tell FOX 2 the victim lived there alone. Neighbors who did not wish to go on camera told FOX 2's Hannah Saunders they often see several people going in and out of the house, squatting and doing drugs.

"The young guys just live there because, you know, because we got a lot of homeless out here," Courtner says. "As you do know, people are doing things that they shouldn't do but for the most part they were very courteous."

She is glad their final conversastion took place while sitting on the pew.

Neighbors also say the man had a daughter and some other family living in the area. Police have not released his name yet. 

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