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House fire that killed Lansing toddler found to be unregistered rental without working smoke detectors

House fire on East Cavanaugh Street in Lansing killed 23-month-old Damian Shessia
Posted at 10:05 PM, Jun 29, 2022

Monday morning's house fire on east Cavanaugh Street in Lansing killed 23-month-old Damian Shessia and hospitalized his mom and two siblings.

Lansing Fire Department Fire Marshal Phil Sabon said the smoke detectors at the home were not functioning properly, meaning this incident could have been avoided. He would not specify how many detectors were in the home, or provide any other information, as the investigation is ongoing.

Lansing Director of Communications Scott Bean said the house was a rental property owned by Evolve Real Estate, though it was not registered with the city as a rental property.

According to online records, the address of the rental company is in DeWitt. The address for the taxpayer of the property is in Grand Rapids.

I knocked on the door of the DeWitt address four times. Although I heard someone inside, no one answered.

Lansing Economic Development and Planning Director Brian McGrain wrote in a statement, "Smoke detectors are required throughout inhabited structures and placement can vary depending on usage. Regarding residential usage, typically they are required on every floor, in every bedroom, and within so many feet of each other, among other placements. When a rental inspection is done, my team checks for placement and operation of these devices."

Because it was not registered with the city as a rental property, it was not inspected.

McGrain said the city is not currently aware of other properties in the city owned by the LLC listed on the property records.

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Larry Wallace

10:16 AM, Jan 03, 2021

Southside Lansing

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Larry Wallace

Holt, Dimondale, Delhi Township

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