Woman useless, 3 homes destroyed in east Detroit fire

Detroit firefighters are investigating the cause of a fire on the east side of the city early Tuesday that killed an elderly woman and destroyed three homes.

Crews were called to the Burns 6600 block at around 3:30 a.m. and arrived to find three neighboring houses with flames shooting through the rooftops, said Dave Fornell, an assistant fire chief.

Investigators believe the two-alarm fire started in one of the vacant buildings and spread to the others, he said.

A fourth residence also started catching fire, but the crews quickly put them out and only the siding melted, Fornell added.

Firefighters learned that a resident was in one of the apartments. “After the fire was found and it was safe, our people went in and looked for and found an 80-year-old woman,” Fornell said.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office should determine the cause of death.

Everyone at the other squatted house that caught fire escaped, but all three affected buildings collapsed, Fornell said. “The fire was extremely intense.”

The investigation is still ongoing and the fire department has not determined how the fire started, he said. “We don’t know exactly what happened yet.”

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