Mother pleads for help after she says fire fighters damaged her home in Detroit

Woman claims damage came afterfirefighters responded to fires at a vacant house

DETROIT – Detroit city leaders say staff will look into a senior resident’s claim about the damage left to her home after a fire response at a neighboring vacant home in June 2023.

Marguerite Turner said she’d been calling the city of Detroit about broken windows and water damage at her home on East Warren Avenue without success.

“I want to get my house fixed so I can get back in there,” said Turner.

The senior resident claims the damage to her home came after emergency workers responded to fires at a vacant house that used to sit next door to her home.

The last fire happened in June 2023. The burned-out house has since been demolished.

However, Turner and her son said they’ve been stuck with damage to their own home, which they claim firefighters caused. The damage has left her living with relatives temporarily.

“They were actually in the bedroom,” said Wilfred Turner. “Those busted windows, blowing with their water hoses, trying to put the fire out. Trying to keep it from reaching my house.”

The Turners said among the problems they’re facing is their duplex was uninsured. They claimed their policy was previously canceled for being too much of a risk as it sat between two vacant structures.

The community group 48207-11 Grassroots Detroiters was already helping the Turners renovate their first-floor unit. However, the damage after the June fire staled things.

“I mean, all I would care for, at the least, is the Detroit Fire Department fixing the damage they caused to my windows,” Wilfred said.

Deputy Mayor Todd A. Bettison responded to inquiries about the damage while visiting the Turners’ home on Monday (Nov. 20).

“We’re going to make sure that, you know, our senior is going to be in a safe environment,” said Bettison as he looked at the damage to Turner’s house.

Bettison said he’s instructed city staff to investigate the matter.

“The Duggan Administration, we do care,” Bettison said. “That’s why I got from behind my desk and actually came out here to do this interview. Because I’m looking at it first-hand, so, we’re going to wrap our arms around her and do what we can. As far as anything, if it was damaged by the city of Detroit, we’ll help her with the legal claim.”

Turner said she’s glad the city of Detroit is finally responding to her issue. She said she just wanted to return to her home.

About the Author:

Demond Fernandez joined the Local 4 News team in 2023, anchoring our 5:30 p.m. newscast and reporting on important stories impacting our community. He joined WDIV from WFAA in Dallas where he was a senior reporter focusing southern Dallas communities.