Woman who started blaze trying to kill bed bugs: 'I am so sorry'
DETROIT (WJBK) - The woman who started a massive fire at an apartment building in Detroit is speaking exclusively to FOX 2.
Distraught and desperate for forgiveness, the woman believed to be responsible for the fire at the Grayton Park Apartments on the city's west side spoke with FOX 2 by phone from Sinai Grace Hospital. She says she was trying to get rid of the bed bugs that had been in her apartment for more than a year.
"They had sent exterminators over, but it didn't work, and these things just kept at me, they just kept at me," she says. "I went in there with clear skin, now my skin is all bitten up and looking like leather. I just want to get rid of these bed bug tormentors."
The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, says she killed some of the bedbugs a few weeks ago by turning up the heat in her west side apartment, which is near Outer Drive and Rouge Park. So, she says she did the same Tuesday and doused her floors with alcohol, which is often used to kill bedbugs. But, she also had her oven on and she did not know the fumes are flammable.
"When I was standing in the front room, the whole floor just ignited. The whole floor just ignited! I couldn't get the fire extinguisher," she says.
The flames spread throughout the building and the roof collapsed on firefighters. Three of them taken to the hospital, and more than two dozen families were burned out of their homes.
For the woman who says she mistakenly started the fire, the weight of that reality is almost overwhelming.
"I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. If I could, I would take it all back," she says. "Can you please ask them to forgive me? I didn't mean to set the fire, okay? You can tell everybody."
The woman says she tried to get her neighbors out of the building and thankfully no one died.
The fire department is still investigating what happened, they are not saying what started the fire. It is unclear if the woman will face any charges.