The cause of a fire that destroyed a River Road home Monday night in Detroit and killed at least one cat is undetermined, according to the Detroit fire chief.

Gilbert Shaw, who lived in the apartment attached to a barn at 116 River Road, was released Tuesday from Sebasticook Valley Health in Pittsfield after being treated for smoke inhalation, said Detroit Fire Chief Don Chute.

Shaw had about five or six cats that were missing after the fire destroyed the barn and the apartment. Chute said Thursday that Shaw had found “one or two” of the cats alive, although at least one cat died in the fire.

Shaw is staying with his girlfriend in Augusta, according to Chute, and could not be reached for comment.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal investigated the fire and couldn’t determine how it started, though Chute said it was not of suspicious origin.

“We couldn’t make a clear determination, so we’re going to call the cause undetermined at this time,” he said.


The fire, reported around 10:15 p.m. Monday, drew response from about 40 firefighters from Hartland, Pittsfield, Plymouth and Newport.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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