Arson investigators thwarted by sudden demolition by Mayor Duggan administration

A demolition crew razed this apartment building on Detroit's east side while it was still smoldering.
A demolition crew razed this apartment building on Detroit’s east side while it was still smoldering. Steve Neavling/MCM

Part of our yearlong examination of the beleaguered Fire Department.  

Most fire-ravaged buildings that collapse in Detroit are left to languish for a year or more.

4110 BeniteauNot the apartment building at 4110 Beniteau, where a blaze ripped through the two-story brick structure on Tuesday night, displacing more than two dozen residents. While the building was still smoldering, a demolition crew tore it apart to the shock of arson investigators who were preparing to comb through the debris in hopes of determining a cause. strattera 60mg

“We’ll never know what happened now,” an arson investigator told me, requesting anonymity because Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration has threatened to discipline firefighters and arson investigators for talking to the media without permission.

The apartment building made international news in May 2011 when a lottery winner angry over his daughter’s eviction shot and killed the building’s owner, Australian Greg McNicol. Freddie Young, who won $1.8 million from a Mega Millions lottery ticket, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. zovirax 800mg

4110 Beniteau

Although the media never mentioned the murder Tuesday, the fire was big news. For reasons the city won’t explain, the building was demolished before an investigation could be done. The Duggan administration also ordered the immediate demolition of a historic church on Woodward without giving investigators time to survey the site.

Yet the administration took more than a month to demolish a city-owned building that collapsed around a car last year on Linwood, just blocks from the start of the 1967 riots. The city also routinely declines requests by firefighters to demolish houses that collapse dangerously close to neighboring homes. generic Lasix

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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.

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