The cause of a March 26 fire that tore through three homes on Washington Road in Grosse Pointe City — leaving little more than ash and rubble in its wake — was declared “undetermined” by investigators.

The cause of a March 26 fire that tore through three homes on Washington Road in Grosse Pointe City — leaving little more than ash and rubble in its wake — was declared “undetermined” by investigators.

File photo by K. Michelle Moran


2018 year in review: Enormous fire claims three homes on Washington in Grosse Pointe City

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published December 28, 2018

Advertisement

GROSSE POINTE CITY — One of the worst residential fires in the Pointes in decades claimed three homes in the 500 block of Washington Road in Grosse Pointe City the night of March 26.

Despite the efforts of firefighters from all five Grosse Pointes, Harper Woods, Detroit and St. Clair Shores, two occupied homes and an unoccupied home under renovation that was almost ready to be put on the market were destroyed as flames razed two of the homes and rendered a third unsalvageable.

All of the occupants got out safely, including a cat belonging to one of the residents, which was rescued by a firefighter and taken to a local animal hospital for treatment.

The fire brought out the best in many local residents, who rallied around their neighbors and did what they could to offer assistance and comfort. On the night of March 26, some neighbors even hauled out their garden hoses as they tried to create a damp barrier around the fire scene to prevent the blaze from spreading to even more homes.

The fire is believed to have started in the vacant home undergoing renovations at 571 Washington, but results from an investigation into the fire’s cause came back “inconclusive,” City Public Safety Director Stephen Poloni said. He said investigators from the Detroit Fire Department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives partnered with the City to look into what started the fire in the first place.

“It’s a tragedy,” Grosse Pointe Shores Public Safety Director John Schulte said during a Grosse Pointe Shores City Council meeting April 17. “It (was) a bad fire. … It’s the largest fire I’ve seen in 40 years.”

Advertisement