KENTWOOD, Mich. – Lynnlee Storto claims her family was the unintentional victims of arson when an early morning fire at a Kentwood duplex forced them from their home.
While police are looking for the person who started the fire, Storto is hoping for justice and trying to find a new place to live.
No one was in the home where the fire was originally set but the duplex has a shared wall and on the other side of the wall a three-year-old girl and her nine-year-old sister were sound asleep.
Storto still can’t get horrible thoughts out of head, “It kills me because my niece, my nine-year-old would have been the first to go.”
The fire was spotted by Storto’s best friend and neighbor who came running over to wake up the family around 2:00 AM Thursday morning after seeing flames from the house.
“If it wasn’t for them two coming to wake us up we would not have made it,” she said. “They saved our lives.”
The fire was set in a back bedroom in a side of the duplex that was empty according to investigators. The neighbor informed Storto that she would be gone that day.
“She had told us that she was not going to be there all day and that the house was unlocked in case we had to do our laundry,” said Storto.
Storto said she did notice some unusual activity, people she recognized but didn’t know know wandering around the home that evening.
“Around midnight or one o’clock my sister was outside smoking and they had actually come over and asked her for a cigarette,” said Storto. “She obviously gave it to them so they knew that we were in the house.”
She shared the information she had with investigators hoping they will soon get the to the bottom of the suspicious fire.
In the meantime, Lynlee said she is looking for a permanent place to call home and is relying on friends and family to help get her through the tough times ahead.