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Posted on Sun, Apr 4, 2010 : 1:28 p.m.

Woman injured in Ann Arbor house fire upgraded to serious condition

By Amalie Nash

A woman critically injured in an Ann Arbor rental house fire early Saturday has been upgraded to serious condition in the University of Michigan Hospital Trauma Burn Intensive Care Unit, officials said today.

The fire, which quickly gutted a home in the 900 block of South State Street, claimed the life of a 22-year-old Eastern Michigan University student.


Seven people were inside this house when a fire started, killing one and injuring two others.

Angela J. Cesere |

No further details were released today on the woman or her condition.

The blaze was one of four suspicious fires that occurred between Friday night and Saturday morning, officials said.

Seven people were inside the rental home at 928 S. State St. when a porch fire spread into the home. Three people were injured.

Renden Lemasters of Dexter, a 22-year-old senior at EMU, was pronounced dead later in the day. He was remembered by family members for his love of golf and U-M sports and goal of working in the computer science field after graduation.

Another man injured in the fire was released from the hospital Saturday evening.

Ann Arbor Police Sgt. Andrew Zazula said today he did not have any updates on the police investigation into the fire.

The other fires early Saturday involved cars and trash cans, including one that consumed three cars in a parking area underneath an apartment building on Church Street, officials said.

The string of suspicious fires led the University of Michigan Department of Public Safety to issue an alert Saturday evening, warning students to take precautions and report suspicious activity.

Ann Arbor Fire Battalion Chief Robert Vogel said today no additional fires occurred overnight Saturday.

Anyone who has any information about any of the fires is asked to call the U-M Department of Public Safety at 734-763-1131 or the Ann Arbor Police Department tip line at 734-794-6939 or email


David Briegel

Mon, Apr 5, 2010 : 7:13 p.m.

How tragic for all involved. So very sorry. The only connection to the Hash Bash is the waste of police time to harass the people protesting society's obsession with the herb which should be LEGAL! Those police officers, properly deployed, might have been a deterent to this criminal arsonist. Imagine a sane, rational and just society. It's easy if you try......... Imagine........................


Mon, Apr 5, 2010 : 2:21 p.m.

Griffen, I agree with you 100%! We do need to keep all of our public safety folks, and STOP cutting.


Mon, Apr 5, 2010 : 8:59 a.m.

How sad. Thank goodness the firemen showed up as quick as they did! When I saw what the fire department did from my vantage point as I watched was truly amazing. I couldn't help but think that this isn't happening. It looked as if hollywood was in town doing a movie because it was all too surreal. I was on my roof top from across the street. Through all of the horrific screams and sirens I saw people running around on fire. What wasn't talked about in the news articles, that left a lump in my throat, was seeing a fireman chasing down one of the people on fire. He then tackled that person and with his hands and body put that person out, all just as he got out of his fire truck. I wish I could meet him and shake his hand, let him know that it is people like him that make me proud to be in Ann Arbor. I feel safe knowing he and his fellow firemen do what it takes to help a total stranger. With that in mind, I have been hearing rumblings about the Mayor and his staff making the fire department smaller. Is this true? Come to think if it, it does seem like there are less firemen on fires sooner than in the past, why? We need these people! They are the tools to our safety! There are just too many people around town for us to have less firemen, what can we do to stop this? God bless them, and thank you anyway.


Mon, Apr 5, 2010 : 8:11 a.m.

I wonder if this weekends Hash Bash and the all of these fires around town are related? Just saying that perhaps a few bad apples spoiled the party? Cops? Any answers?


Mon, Apr 5, 2010 : 7:30 a.m.

Heartfelt sympathy to Renden's family and friends and to the young woman as well. To law enforcement - if this is arson - please, please, please catch the sick/evil person(s) who set the fire(s). Anyone who has any information about any of the fires is asked to call the U-M Department of Public Safety at 734-763-1131 or the Ann Arbor Police Department tip line at 734-794-6939 or email

W. Vida

Sun, Apr 4, 2010 : 8:15 p.m.

I second mama247's comments. What a tragic incident. We are praying for her recovery and for the family of the young man.


Sun, Apr 4, 2010 : 4:46 p.m.

My hope for full recovery for this young woman, and my sympathy for the family of the young man who died so tragically.