Man admits to setting deadly fire in suicide note

Helen Roberts killed when flames from vacant house next door spread to her home on Hickory Street

DETROIT - In a suicide note, a man admits to starting a fire that killed an 80-year-old Detroit woman.

Local 4 has obtained a copy of a police report the police report that shows Mark Gardua put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.

The report also contains a suicide note.

In the note, Gardua writes, "I set a small fire to an abandoned house next to my mother's."

He goes on to say, "I did not know anybody was home at the time. I am truly sorry."

The fire broke out June 8 at house on Hickory Street. The flames spread to the home of 80-year-old Alzheimer's patient Helen Roberts.

Roberts was trapped upstairs and was unable to be saved.

Dustin Bean lived with Roberts, his aunt, in the home but was out of town when the fire happened.

He said the arsonist's suicide doesn't doesn't bring him closure.

"I feel badly for his family, I kind of feel bad for him seeing as he was messed up in the head," Bean said. "But, you give, you take."

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