Fire that killed 8-month-old boy in Detroit ruled accidental

Coby Johnson dies in fire at home on State Fair Street


DETROIT – The Detroit Fire Department says investigators have officially ruled a fire that killed a 7-month-old boy last week as accidental.

Detroit arson unit Lt. Pat McNulty said investigators are blaming a space heater for starting the Aug. 21 blaze at a home on the city's east side.


Coby Johnson was in the home on State Fair Street with four other children and at least one other adult and teen. Several witnesses rushed to the scene to try to help.

"It took about 15 minutes for someone to let us know that there was another baby in the house," one witness told Local 4. "We had enough time to save that baby, but no one told use in time enough ... 'cause there was enough of us to save that baby."

McNulty said the boy's mother wasn't home at the time of the fire and won't face any criminal charges but Social Services is investigating.