4 homes on Detroit's west side catch fire

By Lauren Podell - Reporter

DETROIT - From one to the next, flames from an engulfed house on Detroit's west side spread to three others early Friday morning.

"I was up watching a movie, when all of a sudden I sat up and said, 'Gilbert, the house is on fire,'" said 75-year-old Priscilla Foster.

Foster and her son live in one of the houses on Allendale Street that caught fire.

"Our neighbor was pounding on the door and all I have on is a night shirt. I grabbed my crutch and we ran down the stairs," Foster said.

In addition to Foster's house, she also owns and rents out a house next door that was damaged.

No injuries were reported.

Investigators are questioning a young couple who said they lived in the home where the fire started, but haven't been staying there for weeks because the power was out.  

"The gas and lights are shut off," said Angie Morse."We couldn't afford the bill. We've been trying to pay it so it would come back on."

But Foster said she thinks someone intentionally set the fire.

"That was no stove fire, that was no electrical fire, that was a torch fire," Foster said.

Pat Ellis, Foster's daughter, said the same thing.

"I know what's been going on in that house and I knew it was only a matter of time before something like this happened," Ellis said.  

Arson investigators have taken over the case.

DTE Emergy was also called to the scene to handle a gas leak.

The question remains: was it arson or a gas explosion?


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