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Detroit complex destroyed by fire site of 2011 shooting

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

Detroit — A massive apartment complex fire late Monday that displaced nine families was the scene of a fatal shooting of the building's landlord nearly four years ago.

Fire officials Tuesday were working to determine the cause of the blaze reported about 11:30 p.m. Monday at East Canfield and Beniteau. No injuries were reported, they said.

"The arson squad is still doing an investigation," said Edsel Jenkins, the city's executive fire commissioner.

With arctic conditions affecting the investigation, he said, "it might take another couple days."

One firefighter was treated and released after slipping on ice that coated much of the scene due to single-digit temperatures.

After battling the blaze for hours, fire crews decided to let the fire burn itself out.

Nine families living in the two-story complex escaped but lost their possessions.

The Southeastern Michigan chapter of the American Red Cross helped seven families with emergency needs, including food, shelter and clothing, said Jennifer Roberts, regional communications manager.

The group said it was working to find the families housing, she said.

The complex is where lottery winner Freddie Young fatally shot his daughter's former landlord, Gregory McNicol, in May 2011 after a dispute involving $1,000 in back rent.

McNicol, an Australian native who worked in construction, was restoring the 10-unit building.

Young was sentenced in 2012 to 20-35 years in prison in the slaying.