Fire destroys 'House of Soul' at Detroit's Heidelberg Project

Tuesday's fire comes after 2 previous fires destroyed 'Obstruction of Justice' House

By Halston Herrera - Digital news editor

DETROIT - Detroit's Heidelberg Project, a famous display of trash turned to art, has been hit again by a suspicious fire.

About 4:30 Tuesday morning, the "House of Soul" on Elba Street burned to the ground.
Creator Tyree Guyton and his volunteers picked up a few of the vinyl records which covered the structure.

"This is nothing," said Guyton. "This isn't going to stop us. I'm so damned determined."

Since May, the Project has been hit by two other arson fires, and two attempted arsons.

Executive Director Jenenne Whitfield said she knows who is setting the fires, and has given a name to the Detroit Fire Department.

"To not address who the culprit is, is almost like saying we don't give a damn about what's happening in the community," she said.

The Detroit Arson Section plans to send an investigator to the site Wednesday, but vacant buildings are a low priority. Detroit has about 400 suspicious fires every month.

Guyton promises to put another work of art in place of the pile of charred rubble.

"I see something greater coming out of here," he said.

Guyton praised firefighters for saving a building next to the one that burned.

IMAGES: Heidelberg Project's 'House of Soul' burns

--Photo by Heidelberg Project

Previous fires destroy other house

Earlier this year, the project's OJ (Obstruction of Justice) House was set on fire, twice -- in May and October.

--Obstruction of Justice house

They're being investigated as arson, but no arrests have been made.

In 1991 and 1999, the city of Detroit ordered the demolition of some of the homes.

The OJ House was the oldest house installation since the last demolition.

The project has become a tourist destination and offers community programs in art and education.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.