GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The fire that forced 11 family members to escape their northwest Grand Rapids home Wednesday did not start by accident, authorities say.
"For somebody to hurt our family the way that they did, It's just like we can't wake up out of a bad dream," said Connie Mena, choking back tears as her family gathered at the home of one of her sisters Friday afternoon.
The Mena family comforted each other as they try to figure out living arraignments and other things they'll need to get on with their lives. They lost everything in the fire and had no renters insurance.
The fire was reported around 2 a.m. in the 700 block of Sixth Street NW. Connie's 14 year-old daughter ran screaming up the stairs of the house. Something crashed through the living room window, landed behind the couch and started the fire.
"As I come downstairs, I looked towards the living room and the flame is already coming up."
News that the fire been ruled arson wasn't a surprise. Family members admit that some of the teenage sons and nephews may run with gangs. There's also been bad blood with people they say hang out at a neighbor's house.
"I'm sure my son has some enemies. My nephews have some enemies but, does it have to go this far? You know, it's just ridiculous," Connie Mena said.
"If you want to retaliate on the boys, retaliate on the boys. Leave, you know, the grandmas, mamas, leave the kids alone," said Norma Mena, another family members who was not at the house when the fire started.
The Mena family is keeping their eyes and ears open on the street -- both the concrete and electronic versions.
They're monitoring Facebook and other social network sites; vowing to turn anything they hear over to police.
"Everybody's gonna talk; everybody knows everybody," said Norma Mena.
Fire investigators won't confirm how the fire started, or why they believe it was intentionally set.
Anyone with information is asked to call GRPD at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.
Marissa Barry, the 16-year-old Portage girl who went missing Thursday afternoon, has been found, police say.
It was a crazy scene during an attempted robbery inside a Family Fare in Ottawa County early Friday.
A 35-year-old man has been arrested and charged with shooting and killing a man at a party on Portage Road in late November.