Neighbors still want answers months after fatal house fire

Posted at 6:13 PM, Aug 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 19:40:47-04

Five months after two people died in a house fire at 26th and Locust, neighbors still want to know how firefighters didn't see the body of 55-year-old Billy Bowen.

His body was found the following day upstairs.

"I was appalled that it took 24 hours to find him," said Carmen Plummer, a neighbor.

At least 30 firefighters responded to the house when it went up in flames on March 4th. According to the medical report, crews had apparently gone through the upstairs hours after the fire was out, but didn't see Bowen.

"How could you miss him? I don't understand how they could miss someone not being there. I mean a body being up there," said Plummer.

Terry Kannich, another neighbor said, "Why didn't they catch the body the first time? Firefighters should have caught it, but they didn't. They overlooked it."

Bowen's grandmother was rescued by neighbors. She suffered severe burns, and was rushed to the hospital. She died three days later .

"I still want to know what happened to him because they never said what happened. What caused his death?'' said Plummer.

Billy Bowen's final cause of death was ruled inhalation of soot and products of combustion. The Milwaukee Fire Department is still conducting an internal investigation making sure standard operating procedures and guideline were followed .

Deputy Chief Terry Lintonen of the Milwaukee Fire Dept. said, "We do have an internal investigation which is talking to all the companies involved and talking to all the individuals that are involved ."

The Fire and Police Commission are investigating the fire too.