Detroit group home under police investigation

Police find padlocks on door at group home when responding to fight between residents

By Shawn Ley - Reporter

DETROIT - The Detroit Fire Marshal was inspecting a group home Tuesday afternoon on East State Fair Street after police were called on a report that a 30-year-old male resident at the home was fighting with a 62-year-old woman who also lives there.

When police arrived they found the front door of the home intentionally locked with padlocks. Police cut the locks, saying if there were a fire the owner of the home left just one way out for the residents.

Police called the home a death trap. Residents agree.

"Well, you know what, we would all just burn because there is no fire extinguisher or anything," said one resident.

Detroit police also say the owner has no permits to run the place. Eleven people have been living there since March. When police asked the owner to go to the home to give an explanation, she refused.

Local 4 has learned she would have been arrested upon arrival because she has outstanding warrants for code violations, felony assault, assaulting a police officer and drug charges, among others.

Detroit police and firefighters also found the refrigerator and freezer padlocked. Police believe the owner is avoiding licensing and inspections by claiming to have a home to rent for room and board.

However, one woman who was just discharged from a hospital -- with an IV still in her arm -- said the owner hooks her IV up to her medication.

The home has not been inspected by a city building inspector. Several civil infractions have been written up but police are investigating to see if there are criminal issues, too. The state has been called in to investigate as well.

The residents are allowed to stay for now.

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