RACINE — A man and dog died early Tuesday morning in a house fire on the city’s south side. The cause of the fire remained under investigation as of Tuesday afternoon.
At 4:20 a.m. Tuesday, the Racine Police and Fire Departments responded to 2527 Coolidge Ave. for a report of a structure fire with flames reaching outside of windows on three sides of the home, according to Police and Fire Department news releases. Once firefighters got the blaze under control, they entered the home and discovered the bodies of a man and a dog.
Racine County Medical Examiner Michael Payne confirmed that one of his deputies responded to the scene and that the deceased human was an adult male. An autopsy is expected to be completed in Milwaukee County in the coming days to confirm the deceased’s identity and cause of death.
As of Tuesday afternoon, police had not provided additional information about the fire or the victim.
No other injuries were reported. The home is considered a total loss, with an estimated value of $130,750. The Racine Fire Department said that the cause of the fire was still under investigation Tuesday.
Marina Donaldson, 38, who lives on Webster Street, about a block from the fire scene, said she was speechless when she was saw the amount of damage. “I’m heartbroken for the family,” Donaldson said.
Once flames were sufficiently knocked down, firefighters entered the home, conducted a search for victims and finished extinguishing the fire, Racine Fire Department Capt. Craig Ford said.
The Racine Fire Bells, We Energies and Racine Water Utility crews assisted at the fire scene.
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Donaldson said that between 10 and 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, police came to her home and asked to view any surveillance footage available from 2:45 to 4 a.m. She said she was unsure what exactly the police were looking for.
Police Department spokesman Sgt. Adam Malacara said that asking for video is not uncommon during death investigations.
“This is a fire investigation involving a fatality, therefore, it is essentially a death investigation,” Malacara said. “We do neighborhood canvasses to see if anyone did see anything suspicious, including checking any video footage that may have caught something. This is how we rule out anything suspicious about the incident, along with any evidence recovered at the scene.”
More than 8 hours after the blaze was extinguished, the Racine Police Major Crimes Unit remained on the scene.
A State Patrol forensic mapping expert was on the scene until about 1 p.m. Such experts come to fire scenes when requested, Malacara said.
Police investigators are interested in information anyone may have about the incident. Witnesses or citizens with information are urged to call the Police Department Investigations Unit at 262-635-7756.
Those wishing to remain anonymous may contact Crime Stoppers at 262-636-9330.