Fire destroys flea market on Detroit's southwest side - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Fire destroys Mexicantown Flea Market on Detroit's southwest side

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By Robin Schwartz
Fox 2 News

DETROIT (WJBK) -- From SkyFox, flames could be seen shooting out of the Mexicantown Flea Market on Federal as crews worked to put out the fire, which started around 1:00 a.m. Monday.  The building, a landmark in southwest Detroit, is completely destroyed.

George Mills has sold furniture there for the last seven years.  He said the market was about to close and vendors had been told to leave.

"Business is bad.  It's been bad, but the reason they're closing, I really didn't get the whole story, but I'm pretty sure it's about losing money, you know, and just no customers (anymore)."

Vendors said they were told different things by the market's owner.  Some thought the building was sold, others thought he couldn't afford it anymore, and now the fire, which has left some sellers wondering.

"I have to admit it (doesn't) look right.  It looks bad, but I'm not the judge of that," Mills remarked.

Another vendor, who sold antiques in the building, said she has her own problems with the owner.  She said he gave her a bad check for $425 that bounced Monday.

"I think that he knew that the money wasn't in there to begin with when he gave us the check," said Irene Jacob.

"There was no business at all.  We would sit there and not sell anything," she added.  "It was good at one time, but I think it was just going down."

We were not able to reach the market's owner for comment.  We're told he also owns a neighboring building.

The cause of the fire is not yet determined.

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