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Man 'burned beyond recognition,' 8 treated at hospital after 2 Detroit fires

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Detroit — In a 20-minute span after 2 a.m. Thursday, Detroit fire personnel responded to a fatal house fire and an apartment fire that ended in eight people being transported to hospitals.

The fires occurred about two miles from one another on Detroit's east side. 

The fatal house fire on the 14200 block of Mayfield — north of Houston-Whittier, west of Chalmers — was reported at 2:23 a.m., said Dave Fornell, deputy commissioner of the Detroit Fire Department. 

Police say the cause of that fire was an arson, the result of an object being thrown into the home. 

While police say four people were able to escape, a male victim was found "burned beyond recognition" in the fire, Fornell said. Police and fire officials both say the victim was in his early 40s.

Police said in an update, Thursday afternoon, that investigators found no evidence of the use of accelerants in the fire.

Just 15 minutes earlier, Detroit firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire at an occupied apartment building on the 9500 block of Whittier, which is north and west of Interstate 94. 

The origin of that fire is not yet known, but eight people were treated at hospitals. Two were taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital due to smoke inhalation, and one of those is considered "serious," Fornell said. 

Six others were transported to St. John Hospital as a precautionary measure because they had been outside in the cold so long. Overnight lows were below freezing, according to the National Weather Service.