A baby blue camper parked inside a white picket fence on Detroit’s east side was engulfed in flames late Wednesday night, killing one occupant.
Firefighters found a body inside the burning camper at 10:15 p.m. on the 900o block of Edgewood, just northwest of I-94 and Gratiot, on land that belongs to the city of Detroit, according to the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office.
Since at least 2007, the camper has served as a permanent home for a man who has meticulously maintained the yard and several gardens.
For reasons that aren’t yet clear, dispatchers sent just one fire rig to the scene. The city usually sends between two and five rigs to suspected fires, especially when there is a fear that someone is inside.
Firefighters from Engine 46 found the body about 12 minutes after arriving.
We are awaiting a response from the Fire Department and dispatch center.
This story is part of our yearlong project to document every fire in Detroit as rigs break down at alarming rates and arsonists continue to decimate neighborhoods.
Other stories in this series:
- Fire Department wildly underreports arsons to FBI
- More than 220 houses, buildings burn in January; five rigs malfunction
- First week of February: Fires kill 2 brothers burn 26 houses, rigs malfunction
- Daring rescue by Detroit firefighters saves squatter from boarded-up home
To help us sustain and improve the project throughout the year, please consider a donation.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.