DETROIT – Jennifer Mergos is a victim of arson in Detroit.
A firebug burned down the home she and her family were rehabbing in the Brightmoor neighborhood. It was burned down to the foundation.
The home is on Puritan near Hazelton. Several other homes have been burned on the block.
Sitting off the road at the same corner is a 100-year-old farmhouse. Its owners walked away from it over the weekend. They couldn't keep up with the skyrocketing insurance rates which were rising due to the arson fires. The fear now is that someone will come along and set the farmhouse on fire, too.
"They move in, scrap the house, take everything they can out of it and then burn it down because that's their normal mode of operation in the neighborhood, base off what I've seen and know," said Mergos.
Neighbors are scrambling to find someone to take over the house. It's a complicated process while it's likely the house is going back into bank ownership.
The fear of losing the home is so great the city of Detroit sent its arson investigation team to meet with the Brightmoor neighbors on Sunday. They were told the suspected firebug is sitting in jail now after being convicted of a different crime.
Regardless, both neighbors and the arson squad agree it will take a community effort to keep this home safe.
"I'm sure they'll burn it down because that's what they do, and we want to prevent that from happening at all costs," said Mergos.