Detroit woman's home on Birwood Street firebombed

Thelma Taylor says she's in shock, doesn't know why her home was targeted


DETROIT – "Why me?"

Thelma Taylor, 78, is in shock.

She's sitting on the porch of her house on Detroit's west side because she can't go inside. Her home since 1979 was firebombed at 3:30 a.m. Monday and all she has is her family, friends and her dog, Mercedes, on her lap.

Mercedes almost didn't make it. 

Local 4 cameras were rolling as Detroit firefighters not only went into the burning home to find Taylor's small Yorkie, but brought the dog out saying, "She's gone."


A firefighter worked to give the dog oxygen for 20 minutes and the dog began breathing again.

"It's a miracle," Taylor said.

Arson investigators are now at the house. The home's front rooms and everything in them have been destroyed.  Taylor was asleep when she heard an explosion. She called for her niece, who recently moved in, and was sleeping upstairs. That niece grabbed her two-year-old daughter and all three got out of the home safely.

Taylor has no idea why she was targeted, but it's clear what the intent of the firebombing was: to kill everyone inside.


"That's what it is! If you throw a bomb into a home, that's what it is!" Taylor told Local 4.

Taylor is now staying with family members.  Mercedes was on Taylor's lap when Local 4 spoke with her and the dog is doing just fine.

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