Fired up 

This two-story house at 12120 Maiden on Detroit’s East Side, not far from City Airport, has broken windows, a wide-open front door, profitable aluminum and a charred facade. The Abandoned Structure Squad (that’s A.S.S. to you, pal) discovered that this house had been home to squatters, neighborhood drug dealers and street gangs in the past, according to neighbors. But that was before the house caught fire on April 6.

Traci Box, who lives across the street with her four young children, says it took firefighters more than an hour to respond to the blaze.

When asked by A.S.S. about the source of the flames, Fire Department officials would neither confirm nor deny Box’s suspicion that arson was the cause.

The good news is that folks in Detroit won’t let a little fire hamper their entrepreneurial spirit.

“The next day someone stole a bunch of the aluminum off the side of the house,” Box says. She plans to move “across Eight Mile” as soon as she can.

The City of Detroit folks responsible for keeping track of which houses are set to be demolished hung up on A.S.S. for the second week in a row when asked about the house.

Would it help if we changed our name?

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

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