Guilty Plea in Fire That Hurt 7 Detroit Firefighters


A man accused of setting a fire that led to injuries for seven Detroit firefighters has pleaded guilty.

Samson Wright appeared in federal court Tuesday and pleaded guilty to malicious use of fire last August at a commercial building on Detroit's east side. Because firefighters were injured, the charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison.

Wright told investigators that he was paid $500 to set the fire with the promise of more money later.

Wright told investigators he worked with others and was not the one who started the fire.

A $15,000 reward had been offered in the case, and police said it was a tip that led them to Wright.

The U.S. attorney's office got involved because it was a building that housed a wireless phone store engaged in interstate commerce. Seven firefighters were hurt when bricks and debris fell on them.

They were: Eric Jurmo, 31; Brendan Milewski, 30; Brian Baulch, 31; Gerald Rutkowski, 46; Jeron Whitehorn, 30; Shane Raxter, 37; and Robert Puckett, 50.

A criminal charge is pending against a co-defendant, Calvin Jones.

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