Police, Fire departments investigate two vehicle fires

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published July 3, 2015


The Royal Oak Police and Fire departments are continuing their investigations into what or who caused two vehicles to erupt in flames last week.

No one was injured in either incident, police said.

“We do not know if they’re related at this point,” said Lt. David Clemens, of the Royal Oak Police Department Criminal Investigations Division. “They were roughly a mile and a half, 2 miles apart on different nights.”

The first incident happened between midnight and 3:40 a.m. June 26 in the 1000 block of East Fourth Street.

A resident told police that she parked and locked her car in front of her home before hearing a loud noise outside. Police said that when she looked out her window, her vehicle was engulfed in flames.

The second incident happened between 11 p.m. June 29 and 2:19 a.m. June 30 in the 2800 block of North Vermont Avenue.

Police said a resident told them that he parked and locked his vehicle in front of his home. The man said he heard his car alarm go off and then looked outside to see his vehicle was on fire.

In both incidents, the Royal Oak Fire Department extinguished the flames.

Clemens said a witness from the Fourth Street incident stepped forward to report that a white male standing about 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall and wearing a T-shirt and jeans was seen in the car with a flashlight just prior to the fire.

Clemens said further investigation revealed that the suspect may have been attempting to steal the vehicle.    

“We have car fires periodically,” Clemens said. “It’s not uncommon.”

Faulty wiring from installation projects or parking over leaf piles are some causes of vehicle fires that do not involve tampering.

“Obviously, the one is very suspicious because somebody was in the car,” Clemens said. “But we don’t know if that was intentional or not.”

Anyone with information should contact Clemens at (248) 246-3456.