Arson suspected at city-owned house

Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE – Police are investigating a Nov. 11 fire at a city-owned house in the 400 block of Vinewood.

The builder found the back door to the house — which is being renovated for sale as part of the city’s Neighborhood Stabilization Project — open and smoke filling the building about 7:40 a.m. that day and called police. The fire had been extinguished by the time it was found, Police Chief Daniel Grant said.

Grant said he suspects arson, as an accelerant was poured down the stairs but tools kept in the building were left untouched.

“Whoever went in the house, it was clearly their intent to burn the place down,” he said.

The building’s wiring sustained minor damage and much of the wood interior will have to be replaced, he said.

Grant said he does not know if the fire was related to the vandalism of another NSP house Oct. 31, in which someone placed feces inside the house, located in the 2300 block of Eighth.

The NSP program uses federal funds to renovate blighted properties for sale to low-income families.

“Obviously some people have some animosity about these homes coming into the community, which I don’t understand.” Grant said. “The homes are quite nice and I don’t anticipate any problems with their residents.”