1 killed in early-morning Hales Corners house fire

Posted at 8:55 AM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 13:26:53-04

An early-morning house fire killed one person in Hales Corners Monday, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office.

The victim is an adult male, the office said.

According to the fire department, the house at 12300 W. Edgerton Ave. caught fire shortly after 4:30 a.m.

Crews on the scene continued to work on putting out "hot spots," firefighter said.

Neighbors reported one man lives in the house, and they don't think he was home at the time of the fire. 

"There were just flames shooting out the back of the house," neighbor Holly Hill said. "Someone right away started banging on his door. We also noticed his car was gone, so we assumed he was gone too." 

Hill and her family were told to wait outside of their home, across the street, as a precaution while crews battled the flames.

First responders closed down much of Edgerton Ave. as they fought the fire.

Fire departments from Greendale, Greenfield, New Berlin and Franklin all assisted Hales Corners FD at the scene.

Deputy Fire Chief Martin Friebergs, of the Hales Corners Fire Department, said it appears the blaze started at the back of the home.

He said much of the house is a total loss, although some belongings in the front half may be salvageable.

"Fire moves at an exponential rate nowadays, it no longer burns as slowly as it used to," Friebergs said. "We have so many plastics in our homes now, and the consumable goods that we have, all that really just aids in how fast fire develops."

According to Friebergs, crews still need to enter the home to begin searching for the cause of the fire.

He said the trajectory of the fire, which was upwards, prevented it from spreading to any nearby homes, trees, or fences.

"It went straight up through that back half of the building quickly," the Deputy Chief said.

No firefighters were injured.