Investigators work the scene of a fatal blaze early Friday morning in the 20000 block of Spencer near Eight Mile and Van Dyke. (David Coates / The Detroit News)
Detroit — A 49-year-old mother and her 16-year-old son died in a suspicious fire at their home on the city’s northeast side.
Fire crews were called to the scene of the blaze early Friday morning in the 20000 block of Spencer near Eight Mile and Van Dyke.
Police say the body of the mother was found in a front room of the charred-red brick house while her teenage son was rushed to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Another son, 18, of the woman was detained Friday morning for questioning.
Several relatives were standing on the sidewalk near the home Friday morning, while investigators stood in front of the house.
Brian Woods, 22, who lives across the street, said he woke up just before 4 a.m. to the barking of his dog.
“I got up to see what was going on and that's when I looked out the window and saw the fire,” Woods said.
Woods rushed outside and was met by a man who said his younger brother and mother were inside the burning house. Woods said he and the other man tried to go into the house.
“We were going to try to get them out, but it was too late,” he said. “There was nothing we could do.”
Woods said the man told him he was coming home from work. He was walking south on Spencer, apparently coming from Eight Mile, Woods said.
The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office arrived shortly after 8 a.m. Authorities removed the woman’s body from the house as more than a dozen relatives stood on the sidewalk and watched, some embracing one another.
The identity was not immediately available Friday morning, said Mary Mazur, a spokeswoman for the medical examiners office said. An autopsy is likely scheduled for Saturday.
The house is in a neighborhood that appears to be stable with homes, many decorated with Halloween decorations, occupied throughout the block.
The fatal fire comes following three days of efforts by the city and residents to curb arson attempts in the city as part of the Angel’s Night campaign.
In the past few years, the city has announced an average of 30-40 fires a night during the three-day Angel’s Night patrols.
The office of Mayor Dave Bing announced fire totals of 95 for Friday through Sunday. The city averages 30 fires a day, officials said. Last year there were 93 fires during the three-day period.
Volunteers and inclement weather helped keep down the number of fires, officials said.