You may or may not have heard of the fire that occurred early this morning at Forest Arms apartments near Wayne State University. The fire started around 3 a.m. in the corner apartment of a 47-year-old man, whose body has yet to be recovered due to the roof caving in. Television reports this morning were speculating that the fire was a suicide by a resident who barricaded himself inside his dwelling and set it on fire, although that has yet to be determined. The good news is that other than the one unfound victim, there were no other human fatalities. The bad news is that Wayne State University Police Chief Anthony Holt told the press of the fire, which still hadn’t been totally contained as of this writing: "I think it will be a 100 percent loss." Many of the residents lost everything they own, as well as, sadly, pets.
What will be especially sad to downtown music fans is that the building housed People’s Records & Collectibles, one of the area’s most popular music stores, on its ground level for the past two-and-a-half years. The gallons of water used to extinquish the flames totally destroyed the store and most of its inventory. But in the true renewal spirit of this city, the following was posted on People’s Records MySpace page by owner Brad Hales earlier today:
I am sorry to report that Detroit's Forest Arms apartment building was lost early this morning to a massive fire. The building is toast. Our new location is in the basement of my apartment, at 5835 Third St., just south of Antoinette.
If anybody wishes to help out, how about sending a prayer out to the hundred or so people who lived there who are now homeless, and lost pets, and probably in a lot of cases, everything they owned to the blaze.
People's Records will continue on without even really ever stopping. Unfortunately, I have to just about start over. Everything there is under about 4 feet of water. Literally.
Also, if you have any photos of the old place, email [email protected]
I think we may be having a benefit at the Bohemian within the next week or so; details to follow.
So, if anybody wants to stop by the house on Third, Zac, Anibal and I are preparing the basement, and getting things ready for our newest incarnation.
That's today. I don't think anything can be done at the store right now; it's going to take a whole lot of sump pumps to eventually get all the water out of that basement. 5,000 gallons A MINUTE were being pumped in.
Phone calls don't really help right now; my voicemail is already full. Stop by the house on Third if you want to help.
p.s. I needed a vacation anyway.
p.p.s. Still paying CA$H for old records.
Photo of the fire from Brad Hales' MySpace page.