Police: Man arrested after Detroit arson fire that killed 5

AP News
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Posted: Mar 09, 2017 1:14 PM
Police: Man arrested after Detroit arson fire that killed 5

DETROIT (AP) — Police investigating an arson fire said Thursday they arrested a 55-year-old-man who lived in a Detroit apartment building where a blaze fanned by high winds killed five people and injured four.

Officer Jennifer Moreno said the fire Wednesday may have followed an argument, but police aren't sure. No charges have been filed.

Deputy Fire Commissioner David Fornell told the Associated Press that investigators have determined the fire was arson. Fornell said wind gusts up to 60 mph at the two-story, brick building made it difficult for fire crews.

"It was like facing a blowtorch," Fornell said. "There was a lot of fire in the back, but the fire was being pushed into the building by the wind."

The Detroit Free Press reports Fornell said authorities believe the man "may have had an argument with the landlord."

A man who wasn't breathing was pulled from the building by firefighters and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Fornell said. Four bodies later were found on the second floor of the building, he said.

Two of the injured suffered smoke inhalation and were treated and released, Fornell said. He said one person was in critical condition with burns and smoke inhalation and another was in serious condition with a cut hand.