Heidelberg Project had surveillance cameras at time of arson, organizers say

Michael A. Brouwer
By Michael A. Brouwer

By Steve Neavling
Motor City Muckraker

As the Heidelberg Project came under attack by arsonists late last year, organizers raised more than $50,000 to hire a security guard and outfit cameras.

For the first time since then, an arsonist struck another art-decorated home early this morning, this time burning down the iconic Party Animal House.

Was the Heidelberg’s security intact?

By Michael A. Brouwer
By Michael A. Brouwer

Firefighters said there was no security guard at the scene. But small cameras were planted around the Heidelberg Project and are being reviewed today, organizers posted on Facebook.

“We are learning as much as we can right now from investigators and the smaller cameras we did have in place.
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We will release a statement once we know more,” the post read.

The Party Animal House was festooned with stuffed animals at the corner of Mt. Elliot and Elba. The fire broke out at 2:50 a.m., and a 22-year-old woman driving by called 911.

The driver, Janae R., who asked that her last name not be used, said she saw a darker gray Mercury Sable leave the scene after she arrived.

But police, she said, weren’t interested in what she saw and “wouldn’t write anything down. They didn’t even ask for my name or number.”

Steve Neavling

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.