MILWAUKEE (WDJT) — he cause of death has been ruled accidental for a 10-year-old boy discovered in his burning northwest side home Friday, April 23.
In the days since the fire, neighbors say it’s difficult to look at the boarded up house.
People have dropped off balloons and teddy bears to honor the young life of Milwaukee Public Schools student Justin Williams.
Firefighters first on scene began putting out the flames, then discovered the boy and his dog together, but it was too late.
“They immediately began extinguishing fire in the front of the structure, made their way around to the rear where they encountered a 45 storm door with multiple locks on it. They were able to force their way through that door and they found a 10-year-old child and the family dog in the kitchen on the floor,” said Milwaukee Fire Department Deputy Chief Erich Rosen.
When smoke alarms began blaring in the home near 118th and Florist, the medical examiner’s report says Justin‘s mom began yelling to the kids to wake up.
His sister crawled through a bedroom window.
Justin and his dog Ace, in the basement, made it to the first floor before being overcome by smoke.
“Smoke has a narcotic effect, so it will disorient you very quickly physically and visually, where you were unable to find your way out. So we very much stress practicing exit drills from every room of your house,” said Deputy Chief Rosen.
Investigators learned a candle on top of an ottoman somehow ignited the furniture.
Word of the fatal fire spread fast to neighbors on the tight-knit block.
“We’re all very heartbroken with them. There’s no way that — I don’t know how she’s going to get through this, but she will, his father too. I did see him quite a bit too,” said Deanne Dupree.
A GoFundMe is set up to help the Florist fire victims.
Firefighters found a dog crated in the basement still alive. That dog is now being cared for by a neighbor.
We’re told Justin’s mom and sister are now out of the hospital.
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