Some still missing after fire destroys apartment building - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Some still missing after fire destroys Detroit apartment building, arson suspected

Posted: Updated:
SkyFOX over the scene of a large apartment fire on Detroit's west side. SkyFOX over the scene of a large apartment fire on Detroit's west side.
SkyFOX over the scene of a large apartment fire on Detroit's west side. SkyFOX over the scene of a large apartment fire on Detroit's west side.
SkyFOX over the scene of a large apartment fire on Detroit's west side. SkyFOX over the scene of a large apartment fire on Detroit's west side.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Authorities have called off the search for those still unaccounted for after a massive fire destroyed an apartment complex in Detroit.

They say the area has been searched and no one was found in the rubble and the area is not safe to go back inside. If you still have a loved one unaccounted for contact the FOX 2 Newsroom at (248) 552-5103.

The fire gutted the Jason Manor Apartment building early Wednesday morning. The blaze began shortly after a young woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by four men. Authorities are working to determine if the two are connected.

"I [saw] a couple of females, two females, and maybe like twelve guys and they were smoking. ... I heard that she was sexually assaulted and, like I said, it wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary because it's a lot of bad drug users over there," says Latrice Arnold.

Police have given a description of one of the four suspects. They say he is a black male with dreadlocks, 5 feet 4 inches tall with a light complexion and is clean-shaven. At this time they do not have descriptions of the other three suspects.

By Wednesday afternoon an excavator was brought in to pull down the remaining walls of the apartment building so investigators could safely search for those who are still unaccounted for, and to search for the source of the fire. Arson is suspected at this time.

"We just want to make sure we don't find anyone who was possibly trapped inside during the fire, so we are looking for bodies as well as the cause and origin of this fire," says Fire Chief Charles Simms.

He tells FOX 2's Amy Lange 31 of the 42 apartments were occupied and not everyone has been accounted for, but many were saved.

"If the firefighters didn't respond the way they did and put their own lives on the line, we would have had a lot of fatalities this morning," he says.

Many also had to jump from windows on the second and third floors.

ALSO SEE: Residents jump to safety as fire destroys Detroit apartment building

Now the search is on for the people responsible for so much destruction.

"We do have persons of interest in mind and we do have possible motives, so we're going off that so far but, like I said, our investigation has really just begun," says Simms.

ALSO SEE: How to help the victims of the massive Detroit apartment fire

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Let It Rip Weekend Proposal One and the Mongo Brothers

    Let It Rip Weekend Proposal One and the Mongo Brothers

    Let It Rip Weekend Proposal One and the Mongo Brothers

    Monday, July 28 2014 2:46 PM EDT2014-07-28 18:46:07 GMT
    How is Proposal One tied into funding our local schools, police and fire departments, plus should African Americans abandon the Democratic Party and the UAW?
    How is Proposal One tied into funding our local schools, police and fire departments, plus should African Americans abandon the Democratic Party and the UAW?

  • Porch shooter Theodore Wafer back in court for 3rd day of trial

    Porch shooter Theodore Wafer back in court for 3rd day of trial

    Monday, July 28 2014 2:34 PM EDT2014-07-28 18:34:31 GMT
    The trial of a Detroit-area man who killed a young unarmed woman on his porch is entering its first full week of testimony.
    The trial of a Detroit-area man who killed a young unarmed woman on his porch is entering its first full week of testimony.
  • Parents of child held in basement appearing in court

    Parents of child held in basement appearing in court

    Monday, July 28 2014 2:30 PM EDT2014-07-28 18:30:40 GMT
    DETROIT -- The father and stepmother of a 12-year-old Detroit boy who was found in his basement after an 11-day disappearance are due back in court.
    DETROIT -- The father and stepmother of a 12-year-old Detroit boy who was found in his basement after an 11-day disappearance are due back in court.
Powered by WorldNow

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices