Sterling Heights man accused of murder in brother’s fire death

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Christina Hall , Detroit Free Press Published 5:49 p.m. ET May 1, 2017 | Updated 16 hours ago
20-year-old is being held without bond following fire at family home that killed younger brother
(Photo: Sterling Heights Fire Department)
A Sterling Heights man is being held without bond on murder and arson charges in the death of his brother in a fire at their family’s home Friday.

Mark Marroki, 20, is charged with felony murder, first-degree arson and arson preparation to burn a dwelling resulting in injury, according to 41-A District Court in Sterling Heights. He was referred to the forensic center for a competency evaluation during a video arraignment Monday from the Sterling Heights police lockup. No next court date has been set.

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Marroki is suspected in a fire that resulted in the death of his 17-year-old brother, Matthew Marroki. Matthew’s death was found to be homicide by smoke and soot inhalation, according to the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Mark Marroki is allowed to have contact with family. His arraignment came fewer than four hours after a mass was scheduled at St. George Chaldean Church in Shelby Township for his brother, according to an online obituary from Southfield Funeral Home.

Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor William Cataldo told the court that the fire stemmed from a family dispute. Police have said they had an idea how the blaze started, leading to Marroki’s arrest, but they wouldn’t say what led them to believe a family member was involved.

Firefighters were called to the house in the 4200 block of Bloomingdale Drive, southwest of 19 Mile and Ryan, just before 3 a.m. Friday and found a significant fire on the first floor.

Frantic family members reported that Matthew was trapped in his bedroom, directly above the fire, according to a city news release. Fire crews used a ladder to reach the bedroom, forced their way in and removed the unconscious teen from the room. He was taken to Beaumont Hospital in Troy, where he was eventually pronounced dead.

The bedroom door had been left open, allowing for smoke to quickly render him unconscious, according to the release. It stated that early indications were that the family was not alerted to the blaze by smoke detectors, and that the fire marshal was investigating any issues related to the performance of the smoke detectors.

A GoFundMe campaign for the family had raised more than $55,000 as of Monday.

Contact Christina Hall: Follow her on Twitter: @challreporter.