DETROIT – The Detroit Fire Department has confirmed that arson is to blame for a massive fire at an apartment building on the city's west side.
Flames ripped through Jason Manor early Wednesday morning, forcing some residents to jump from windows to escape.
Fire Commissioner Jonathan Jackson said an accelerant was found in the rubble.
Local 4 Defenders are learning the fire may have been retaliation for a resident who called police to report an alleged sexual assault. On Thursday afternoon, Detroit police confirmed they have two persons of interest in that alleged sexual assault now in custody. They were brought into custody on unrelated charges.
At 3:30 a.m., Detroit police said they responded to a complaint of a loud party and the possible sexual assault involving a 19-year-old.
At 5:55 a.m., the building manager called 911 to report the fire.
The building was fully engulfed in less than five minutes.
Crews on Thursday were pumping water from lower-level apartments in the three-story building. Heavy equipment will be used to remove more debris. No deaths have been reported, but police cadaver dogs will search for possible victims.
How to help residents
Several people are left without a home now. St. Vincent de Paul is working with the Red Cross to identify victims, meet with them and provide for clothing, household, furniture needs and more.
St Vincent de Paul has set up a FIRE FUND to help cover costs.