Family wants answers after mother dies in Detroit house fire

Image 1 of 5

The family of a woman found burned beyond recognition in an early July house fire is searching for answers.

In the meantime, the police continue the investigation into Denise McLin's tragic death.

"No one's prepared for a phone call like that," said Denisha Witherspoon, her daughter.

Witherspoon was in Alabama when she found out her mom was found dead in a house fire.

"We're all scattered out everywhere," she said. "We're supposed to be there for each other. It hurt me being so far away Feeling like I couldn't do what I wanted"

Denisha came to Michigan not just to lay her mom to rest with her five siblings, but to find out what happened.

"Her story needs to be heard just in case it wasn't accidental," Witherspoon said. "It might have been more. Maybe someone saw something that could help us out."

The family says the 56-year old lived alone there in the now burned out home on Woodmont on the city's west side. The preliminary cause of an accident doesn't add up for them.
"It doesn't sound right," said Witherspoon.  

"We keep hoping we'll get a phone call any day now saying 'Hey I'm alright,'" said Derrick McLin, her son.

On July 9 the night of the fire Derrick went to the house at around 9 p.m. - he had gotten a call that his mom's home was on fire.
FOX 2: "Did investigators there tell you anything?"

"That night they didn't have much at the time," he said. "Just what people in the neighborhood told them."

They heard a flurry of stories but none of which answer why she didn't wake up and why the fire started.

"It's hard but we're trying to make it," Witherspoon said. "Hopefully it gets easier with time."

Through a cracked door you can see how badly the house was burned on the inside with the windows blown out the siding melted.

Across town, after the funeral Friday, the family gathered to remember the woman they loved.  Taking time with FOX 2 because they also want to know why that loved one is gone. 

Detroit fire says the cause is undetermined and it is possible it could be accidental. They are waiting for the medical examiner's report to come back before they make any final calls in this case. 

They do say an electrical fire is a possibility.