UPDATE 2: Woman's death, house fire raise suspicions - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

COPY-UPDATE: Circumstances surrounding woman's death, house fire raise suspicions

Eau Claire (WQOW) - There's new information Tuesday in the investigation into the death of a woman whose body was found inside a burning home in Eau Claire. Dozens of officers were at the house on East Hamilton Avenue again on Tuesday, police did clear the scene early Tuesday evening.

Firefighters were called to the home Monday when a neighbor reported flames coming from a basement window. Fire officials confirmed that the fire started in the basement. Police aren't saying where exactly the woman's body was found.

On Tuesday detectives, along with agents from the state fire marshal's office and state department of criminal investigation combed the scene looking for clues.

According to the city's website, the home is owned by Wolverine Properties. We do know that the Wolverine Lube Station, one block away from the house, was closed Tuesday. Officers were stationed at that business.

"We've got reason to believe that there is some connection, so that's why we do have officers there. Whether it's direct or indirect, or to what extent, that's something that we're going to keep as part of our investigation at this point, and hopefully release more as we are able to do so," says Officer Kyle Roder of the Eau Claire Police Department. "I would say based on the scene and the information that we have right now, that there's some suspicion."

Police say no one has been arrested. Earlier Tuesday officers formed a line and walked the neighborhood looking for any possible evidence. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also brought in a dog trained to detect if accelerants are present at the fire scene.  

Detectives continued talking with neighbors trying to establish a time frame of anything that may have happened at or near the home before the fire broke out.

An autopsy was done Tuesday. Police tell WQOW News 18, they expect to release preliminary autopsy results Wednesday, along with the woman's name. Late Tuesday afternoon, East Hamilton Avenue was reopened near the home.


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Over eight hours after the investigation into a house fire, that led to the discovery of a woman's body; there are still many un-answered questions.

Eau Claire police and firefighters were called to a home on the city's east side, where they made the tragic discovery. The woman who was found inside the home has not been identified and it's still not clear how she died or what caused the fire.

The Eau Claire Police Department says they are treating the home as a crime scene, which they do until they determine whether a crime was committed.  They'll be at the house all Monday night, into Tuesday.  Also, E. Hamilton Avenue from Alf Avenue, to Miller Street will be closed into Tuesday morning.

On Monday, the Eau Claire Fire Department responded to a house fire on the 36-hundred block of E. Hamilton Avenue. Inside the home, a woman was found dead. Both the Eau Claire Fire and Police Departments were on scene, to take part in the investigation. 

Officer Kyle Roder, with the Eau Claire Police Departments, says, "Anytime we have a structure fire and a deceased person inside, it gives us two separate incidences, within one. So, it is a little bit unusual but at this point, we don't know what the cause of all that is. Our crime scene unit will continue to process the scene, both inside and outside of the residence, throughout the neighborhood,  throughout the night, and as long as it takes to get everything that we feel comfortable with."

This all unfolded Monday afternoon, when a neighbor alerted police to the fire.

Roder says, "A neighbor here of the residence called in, indicating that they saw smoke coming from the windows inside of the residence."

Many questions remain and police say they will continue to sift through the details until they have answers. 

"We're very cautious and we want to be as inclusive as possible, and not exclude any possibilities, so we're definitely going to cover all of our basis and take as much time as we need to do. We're not going to hurry this along," says Roder.

Police expect an autopsy will be performed Tuesday.  There could also be more information released on the woman's identity Tuesday. Police canvassed the neighborhood Monday and interviewed many people. 

Police are asking anyone who saw anything suspicious, or out of the ordinary, near the home late Monday morning or early Monday afternoon to call them.


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Investigators have confirmed that a woman has been found dead in a home on Monday afternoon.

Firefighters were called to the home on the 3600 East Hamilton Avenue after a report of a fire inside.  No more details are being released at this point about the victim.


Eau Claire Police have shut down streets on the city's east side as emergency crews respond to a house fire.

Parts of East Hamilton Ave. from Miller to Lamont Street have been blocked off.  Alf Street is also closed to traffic.  Drivers are being asked to avoid the area if possible.

A fire broke out in a home on the 3600 block of East Hamilton Ave. on Monday afternoon. Caution tape has been strung up outside the residence.

Police say they are investigating the cause.

We have a reporter at the scene. Continue to follow WQOW online and on air for more information as it is released. 

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