Another House Burns at Detroit Heidelberg Project

December 10, 2013

Another structure that is part of Detroit’s Heidelberg Project outdoor art installation has been destroyed by what officials said was a suspicious fire.

The blaze was reported Sunday night at what’s known as “Clock House” on the city’s east side. No injuries were reported.

Starting in 1986, Heidelberg Project creator Tyree Guyton transformed his decaying, crime-ridden neighborhood into an interactive sculpture park. On Sunday night tears welled in his eyes as he surveyed the scene from across the street, The Detroit News reported.

Guyton plans to use remains of the house as part of his artwork, saying it “will be a part of my protest.”

Battalion Chief Edward Voss described the latest fire as suspicious. Detroit police also responded, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Including Sunday’s fire, there have been at least eight fires at various structures in the project since early May. Federal authorities are offering a $5,000 reward. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been investigating the fires along with Detroit authorities.

Earlier fires have been investigated as suspicious or arson. Cynthia Holloway, who has lived in the neighborhood about 60 years, called 911 to report the latest fire. She said the blazes have not only rattled project volunteers, but the community as well.

“Most of the people who live here are poor and taken advantage of, and now these arsons are affecting people who are already victimized,” Holloway told The Detroit News.

Other structures destroyed in three separate November fires include “War House,” “Penny House” and “House of Soul.” “Obstruction of Justice House” was destroyed in October.

No arrests have been made following the fires. Security cameras and other measures are planned, and organizers are raising money.

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