Arson suspected in torching of charity bins

Photo courtesy of St. Vincent de Paul Detroit. More than 40 bags of donated clothing and three drop boxes were destroyed by what police said was arson. St. Vincent de Paul staff said about $6,000 worth of clothing and containers were lost in the fire.

Photo courtesy of St. Vincent de Paul Detroit. More than 40 bags of donated clothing and three drop boxes were destroyed by what police said was arson. St. Vincent de Paul staff said about $6,000 worth of clothing and containers were lost in the fire.

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK – About 1,500 pounds of donated clothing and three storage bins were destroyed in what police determined to be arson.

According to Lincoln Park Police reports, three donation drop boxes at St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, 3760 Fort St., were set on fire late May 15. Each of the three containers contained an estimated 15 bags of donated clothing, resulting in a loss of about $6,000.

Firefighters extinguished the fires about 11 p.m., but the containers and donations were completely destroyed.

Police spoke on Monday with the business manager of St. Vincent DePaul, who said no one was injured by the fire and that the building itself suffered no damage. Police and fire investigators checked the scene and neighborhood and determined that the fire had been set intentionally.

“The St. Vincent de Paul family is feeling blessed that nobody was hurt,” spokeswoman Michelle St. Pierre said in a statement. “However, several thousand dollars of donated goods were destroyed and we’re asking the public to help us in restoring the lost items.”

Donations of gently-used clothing are welcome at St. Vincent de Paul, which has 11 donation centers in metropolitan Detroit, and monetary donations can be made.

For more information on the charity go to www.svdpdet.org.

(James Mitchell can be reached at james.a.mitchell37@gmail.com.)