Battalion Chief Michael Turner said arson inspectors had come out to investigate the blazes in which no one was injured, the Detroit Free Press reported Thursday.
Three homes were on fire when firefighters arrived, and when they looked down the street, two more were aflame, Turner said.
"It was almost simultaneous," Turner said.
Edward Hoze, 58, who lives across the street from the burned homes, two of which were vacant, and grew up there, said he was angry about the fires. He said he and his father saw one of the homes burning, then, in turn saw the one on the right and the left catch fire.
"Definitely arson. No doubt about it. Houses just don't catch on fire with no one living there," said Hoze.