Family loses everything in Eastpointe apartment fire allegedly started by Detroit EMT

Man charged with arson in fire that displaced 3 families

New information about the Eastpointe Apartment Complex fire that a Detroit EMT allegedly set has emerged Thursday night. One person is charged in that crime, but jail time won't bring back what was lost for this family.

EASTPOINTE, Mich. – New information emerged Thursday about a fire at an Eastpointe apartment complex that was allegedly started by a Detroit EMT.

One man has been charged with arson in that crime, but jail time won’t bring back what was lost for one family who lived there.

Local 4 spoke with a mother and grandmother who lost the home she had there less than two months after losing her sister.

“I had lived there for over 10 years, I wasn’t planning on moving, but here I am,” Sharon Williams said.

Williams safely made it out when her Eastpointe apartment building caught fire on Sunday, Aug. 14. The blaze destroyed the top half of the four-unit building.

“When I got out of my apartment (and) into the hallway, it was full of smoke,” Williams said. “So when we got outside, I looked at my neighbor’s apartment upstairs, and it was a blaze of glory. It was like an inferno.”

All of the memories Williams made at the apartment with her sister Cassandra Williams went up in those flames. The sisters shared the apartment until Cassandra Williams unexpectedly passed away on June 30.

Then, the fire.

Police arrested 31-year-old Brian Harvey, who lived in a second-floor unit in the building, for allegedly starting the fire.

Read: Man accused of starting fire that destroyed part of Eastpointe apartment complex

“He said someone, a famous rapper, had kidnapped and tortured him and his goons set the apartment on fire,” Sharon Williams said of Harvey.

It was puzzling to Sharon Williams and her daughter, Nicole Armstrong, for more than one reason. Armstrong says everyone was happy to have an EMT in the building.

“He endangered lives,” Armstrong said. “Somebody who is supposed to save lives intentionally endangered lives.”

Fortunately, officials say no one was injured in the fire. Sharon Williams was able to retrieve some of her precious belongings, but the structure of the apartment is not sound or safe right now.

Sharon Williams is now living with another sister as she tries to figure out what steps to take next. It appears that her son was living with her at the apartment, as well.

Click here to visit the family’s GoFundMe fundraiser.


About the Authors:

Pamela Osborne is thrilled to be back home at the station she grew up watching! You can watch her on Local 4 News Sundays and weeknights. Pamela joined the WDIV News Team in February 2022, after working at stations in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.