Firebombing leaves Detroit family homeless

Mother of nine loses home to firebombing


DETROIT – A Detroit mother of nine says a firebombing has left her family homeless.

It happened early Tuesday morning on East State Fair, while the family was gone because of previous threats.

"Now I fear for my life. I have no place for my children to stay," said Shafari Ogburn, who is pregnant with twins.

She says the trouble began Sunday when her eleven-year-old daughter was wrongly accused of stealing a pack of gum in a neighborhood park. She got into a fight with another girl.

Ogburn says shortly after the incident, some adults came to her house.

"They were saying they were going to beat me up. After that I came back from the gas station and the door was kicked in."

On Monday, Detroit police came to the home after windows were broken. Ogburn had seen at least three men.

"They were surrounding the house so we couldn't get out. Me and my baby were on the couch. Somebody started busting out the windows."

She took the family elsewhere for their own safety.

Firefighters were called to the empty home at 1:55 a.m. Tuesday and extinguished a fire that appears to have started on the second floor. The home has extensive damage.

To make matters worse, someone stripped the house of appliances and other items after firefighters left. Even a bathtub was torn out.

"This was a child's fight. It shouldn't have come to this. Now me and my children are homeless. This is crazy," Ogburn said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Police have made no arrests.

Ogburn and her children are staying with a relative in a tiny apartment. She says there isn't enough room for them to stay for long.

The Red Cross is reviewing her case to determine whether food, shelter and clothing can be provided.