Man being evicted is accused of setting apartment on fire

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“Within three minutes the black smoke took over the building. I was terrified,” said apartment tenant William Armstrong.

Armstrong says he was sleeping when his girlfriend woke him up to tell him she thought their apartment building in the 15000 block of Mack Ave. on Detroit’s east side was on fire.

Investigators and people who live in the building say the fire was intentionally set by a fellow resident.

“Today he saw the eviction notice on his door. He got really upset and he starts saying ‘I'll kill all you (expletives) up in here.’”

He was arrested for arson a short time later.

“Yes, this one would be even more serious, because you have a multi-unit apartment. A person got hurt, so that ups the ante,” said Lt. Rance Dixon, Arson Investigator, Detroit Fire Dept.

A 68-year-old man was taken to a nearby hospital for smoke inhalation.

“Firefighters did a great job. They contained it to the apartment,” said Lt. Dixon. “I believe it is apartment six.”

Meanwhile, Armstrong is relieved his former neighbor is behind bars.

“He was a threat. He would talk out of his mind. To be truthful, people in this building were really scared of him.”