Imagination Station, a nonprofit agency located in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood, burned on Wednesday, according to reports by MLive and other media outlets. Imagination Station serves Detroit-area artists, and had purchased two abandoned houses and some surrounding lots with an eye towards constructing an entire campus dedicated to creative pursuits.
Here are some key details regarding the Imagination Station fire and what organizers plan to do next.
* The Detroit Fire Department was called to Imagination Station twice on Wednesday morning. Although the original blaze had been extinguished, firefighters had to be called back after one of the buildings reignited itself.
* According to the Huffington Post, the losses were not quite as extensive as originally thought. At least one of the two abandoned houses, which have been designated "Lefty" and "Righty" by supporters, apparently suffered only slight structural damage, despite having its roof and interior gutted by the flames.
* Imagination Station purchased the homes after its inception in 2010, and began cleaning them up in order to make them safe for people to walk through and work in.
* "Lefty" and "Righty" are historic homes, having been built in 1890 and 1900, respectively. Rather than tear them down, Imagination Station chose to use them as creative space, inviting artists to paint and musicians to play in the structures.
* Imagination Station co-founder Jerry Paffendorf told the Detroit News on Wednesday that he was considering hosting a community event to clean up the mess from the fire and help the nonprofit move forward.
* Detroit Fire Department spokesman Kwaku Atara told the Detroit Free Press after the blaze on Wednesday that while the cause of the fire is unknown, it is being considered "a suspicious fire" and will be investigated by the department.
* Paffendorf was quick to reiterate on Wednesday that Imagination Station will be moving forward with its plans to construct a creative campus on the site, saying that "The goal was to reduce the blight and create a space that the public was welcome into," as quoted by the Detroit Free Press.
* "Lefty," which had been the victim of a previous arson fire before Imagination Station purchased it two years ago, was reportedly also the primary site of this latest fire as well. As such, it suffered the bulk of the damage on Wednesday. Paffendorf admitted that while Imagination Station had succeeded in cleaning up some of the damage from the previous fire, the extent of the destruction from this latest blaze on Wednesday will probably force the nonprofit to tear the building down.
Vanessa Evans is a musician and freelance writer based in Michigan, with a lifelong interest in politics and public issues.
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