Hamtramck family seeks justice after arsonists set home on fire twice

Family hopes sharing video would identify suspect

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – Security cameras captured a man setting fire to a Hamtramck home for the second time in a year and a half.

The family was inside asleep both times. The most recent arson attack happened around 4:30 a.m. Monday (March 13) at their home on Edwin Street.

Out of fear, the family asked to conceal their identity, but they say no one was hurt, and the damage was limited to the home’s exterior.

However, the fear is overwhelming.

“We’re just worried for our safety,” said the family. “Someone does this while we are asleep, and we could’ve burned down with the house.”

The family says it was the same man both times. The first incident happened in January 2022.

In a video of the attacks, the man’s face is partially covered. However, they hope sharing the video will help identify the suspect.

While the family doesn’t recognize the man, they believe an ex-friend of the family is behind the attacks. They said the ex-friend turned on them, stealing their identity for fraud purposes.

They say Hamtramck police have investigated both incidents, but the cases grow cold without any leads.

“We have no help,” the family said. “We are doing what we can to our knowledge best. We tried reaching out to our city. We’re taking your guys’ help now, and you are one of our only resorts. We don’t know any other way to identify and catch this guy.”

The Hamtramck Police Department provided a statement on Thursday.

“The Hamtramck Police Department is currently investigating two reported arson cases both occurring at the same residence on Edwin St.

One case was reported in January 2022 and the second on March 13, 2023. In both cases the suspect description was reported as w/m wearing all black clothing and a face mask. Surveillance video shows the suspect may have suffered a burn to his hand/arm during the incident.

In the most recent incident, a white vehicle (unknown make/model) was seen leaving the area immediately after.”

Hamtramck Police Department

Detectives are working on these cases and are trying to ID the person(s) involved. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hamtramck Police Department at 313-800-5280

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call the Hamtramck Police Department at 313-800-5280. Tips can be submitted anonymously at 313-800-5281 ext. 500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-Speak-up.

All tips to Crime Stoppers are anonymous. Click here to submit a tip online.

About the Authors:

Jacqueline Francis is an award-winning journalist who joined the WDIV team in September 2022. Prior to Local 4, she reported for the NBC affiliate in West Michigan. When she’s not on the job, Jacqueline enjoys taking advantage of all the wonders Michigan has to offer, from ski trips up north to beach days with her dog, Ace.

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.