81-year-old Detroit woman's home damaged from fire at vacant house next door

House waterlogged by firefighters battling flames

DETROIT – The city of Detroit is trying to demolish thousands of vacant homes, but the process is slow. Arsonists continue to burn many homes, which affects homeowners who have to watch their neighborhoods burn.

For one woman, a vacant house fire left her wondering about where she'll live in the future.

Josephine Mosley, 81, said she complained to the city about abandoned homes and arson in her west Detroit neighborhood. The former IRS auditor -- who moved back to Detroit from Washington, D.C., to live near her family -- feels the city's inaction cost her a lot.

A vacant home in the 5600 block of McGraw Street was gutted by flames Sunday night. Inside the home about 6 feet away, Mosley was calling officials.

"I kept smelling smoke and I looked out a window and it was red, so I called 911," Mosley said.

Firefighters kept the fire from leveling Mosley's house, but some embers got in the attic and thousands of gallons of water were poured on her home. Now the house has severe water damage.

"Everything, my carpeting, my air conditioner, my computer, is waterlogged," Mosley said.

Mosley said the most frustrating part of the incident is that she's been calling the city about her block for the past year. She said she's gotten nowhere with the Detroit Land Bank.

"It seems they don't really listen," Mosley said. "They've burned down about six houses on the block, but they just don't do anything."

Though Mosley has insurance, she said her future is highly uncertain.

"The Red Cross said I can have two nights in a hotel," Mosley said. "After that, I don't know."

Local 4 business editor Rod Meloni called the Detroit Land Bank several times on Monday and left messages about Mosley's plight. The Land Bank hasn't responded, but is usually very prompt in returning calls.

Stay with ClickOnDetroit.com for updates to this case.

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