Workers were evacuated from a Detroit medical building this morning after reports of gunfire and arson at the site.
There is no confirmation of fatalities at the Park Medical Centers building where smoke continues to pour out. The building is in the 8000 block of Grand River, near W. Grand Boulevard.
Employees were told to evacuate shortly before 9 a.m. after a man walked into one of the offices and started shooting, authorities said. The man is believed to be either a current or former maintenance employee. Lanier Alfaro, an office manager at a podiatrist office in the building said that she was told the man had targeted a woman who worked in the building and the two might have had a dispute. Property restoration workers said the fire was intentionally set.
"It was devastating," she said, noting that you don't expect to come to work and see shootings.
Onlookers and members of the media who have gathered near the burning office building on Detroit's west side are being directed away from an earlier established perimeter.
An officer said the building could explode. Smoke continues to billow out of the charred remains of the building's southern half. The rest of the building is mostly destroyed.
The fire has apparently claimed the extensive boxing memorabilia collection of former Michigan Boxing Commissioner Dr. Stuart Kirschenbaum, who had a podiatry office in the building.
Detroit Police have released only limited information at this point. Officer Phillip Cook, a department spokesman, said someone went into the building and shots were fired. He said he has no information about injuries or fatalities.
A DTE Energy spokeswoman said that gas to the building was shut off at 10:17 a.m., so any threat of explosion is not related to natural gas.
Copyright 2013 - Detroit Free Press
McClatchy-Tribune News Service