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Family’s Detroit home destroyed in fire intentionally set next door

Home surveillance shows family getting out of house safely

DETROIT – When a fire broke out early Friday morning on Lane Street in southwest Detroit, neighbors weren’t initially worried because it was a vacant house.

But the fire then spread quickly to the trees and the house next door where a mother and her children lived.

“My son looked out the window and he saw a bright red light,” said neighbor Rodney Cavin.

Cavin ran across the street to get Elic Lopez and her three kids out of the house.

“I was hitting that door so hard. My hand is still sore from pounding on the door,” Cavin said. “If they didn’t come in the next 30 seconds, I was kicking it in.

“They’re neighbors and they’re like family to us.”

READ: Authorities investigate house fire on Detroit’s east side

Home security video shows Lopez, her two sons -- ages 11 and 16 -- and her 4-year-old daughter getting out safely.

Lopez, who does not speak English, explained through an interpreter that getting the kids to safety was her only concern.

The video also shows that the fire does not appear to be an accident.

Lopez’s extended family is rallying around her.

“It’s just something very hard to see your family member in that situation. When you lose everything, you’re hopeless. If you don’t have help, what are you supposed to do?” said Lopez’s niece, Cyndy Garcia.

Investigators are looking into the origin of the fire.

Anyone interested in donating can visit https://www.facebook.com/DetroitersHelping/ and donate to Cashapp $DHEO2013. Other donations -- clothes and personal items -- can be dropped off or mailed to 2501 Pearl Street, Detroit, MI 48209.

You can watch the full report in the video above.


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