Arson suspected at home near Heidelberg Project

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Arson investigators are trying to figure who started a fire on Detroit’s east side.

It happened in the 3600 block of Preston around 1:00 am Sunday. 

It is a scary thought for those who have loved ones who live in the area.  The crime took place just a block away from the Heidelberg Project, which has seen a number of arsons in recent years.

 “Every time something like that happens I call over to my brothers and my sisters who still live here,” said Carrol Sumpter who grew up in the neighborhood.

Many who live in the area told 7 Action News they heard a man who was suspected to have started the fire was jumped by neighbors, beaten, and held until police arrived.

Late Sunday afternoon, arson investigators told 7 Action News they do not believe that is exactly what happened. 

Instead, they think  suspect the beating just happened at the same time, in the same place.

“It is sad but everyone has their own way of thinking but some way is not the right way of thinking,” said neighbor Elizabeth Beeks.

At one point, neighbors feared the arson was connected to the Heidelberg fires.

However, at this time, investigators are treating this latest case near the world-renowned displays separately.

Those in charge of the Heidelberg Project have said they have been keeping a careful eye on the art.

Signs are displayed stating security cameras are in use next to some charred remains there.

In the mean time, those who live nearby are grateful no one was hurt in the latest arson.

“These houses if there had been another house close to that house, it could have been really bad.  You know, a lot of these houses would have just burned down,” said Sumpter.

“They are very close to each other and they are all wood and you know they would have just burned down and it would have been just dangerous for the families and everything.”

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