See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Back in black 

This week our ASS (not an actual anatomical part, but rather the Abandoned Structure Squad) landed, figuratively speaking, on a charred mattress along the 14200 block of Eastwood just off Gratiot on Detroit’s East Side. Actually, we’re not being completely accurate when we say the aforementioned bedding was outside the house because, technically, there is no longer an inside.

Robert Brown, who lives one house down from the burnt building, reports that fire destroyed the structure within the past month. The conflagration started early in the morning.

“I woke up to go to work and saw this house tore up,” says Brown.

Other neighbors say that it took the Fire Department about an hour to get to the scene and another two hours to put the blaze out.

People in the neighborhood are hot under the collar because there are about five other houses on the same street that have been devastated by fire or just abandoned, and they want to see something done.

Jean Morris, who lives in a nearby apartment, says this house appears to be a particular hazard. It is apparent to the untrained semiprofessionals here at ASS that there’s not much holding up what little of the building there is that remains standing.

“It’s dangerous, very, very dangerous,” says Morris. “It needs to be torn down.”

Editor’s note: If you know of an abandoned home you would like to see featured in this spot, send a photo and pertinent information to News Hits, c/o Metro Times, 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226 (or e-mail

Check out all of our Abandoned Shelters of the Week

Contact News Hits at 313-202-8004 or

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 28, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit