Deadly fire investigation underway near 60th and Bobolink

NOW: Deadly fire investigation underway near 60th and Bobolink

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee police say a deadly weekend fire is now being investigated as a homicide and arson.

Police and fire officials responded to a home near 60th and Bobolink just before 11 p.m. Sunday night, May 21. 

Forty-nine-year-old David Rhodes was found inside a bedroom. He died in the back of an ambulance.

"If this is being investigated from the homicide side, that would be from the police side of it. We certainly try to determine a cause of what the fire is so we can rule or rule in whatever it may be," said Dewayne Smoots, Milwaukee Fire Department assistant chief of operations. 

The Milwaukee Fire Department says they don't know what caused the fire but say they treat every fire as a crime scene until they're sure it isn't. 

"We go to extremes at fires to preserve as much of the evidence as possible if there is any harm," said Smoots. 

Milwaukee Fire Department Assistant Chief of Operations Dwayne Smoots says, in this situation, it isn't clear what started the fire.

"I do not know how it was started but it is my understanding that they did not hear any smoke detectors when they arrived on that scene," Smoots said. 

As firefighters passed out smoke detectors in the neighborhood of another deadly fire near 24th and Vine, Smoots wanted to remind people in single-family homes and duplexes that they can contact the fire department for a free smoke detector. 

They say when it comes to apartment buildings, to talk things out with your landlord first before going to authorities if they aren't provided. 

Smoots says most fires are caused by electrical issues or cooking accidents, but sometimes...

"A few times it is to hide other crimes. It is, 'I'm mad at you and just want to get you back,'" Smoots said. 

The medical examiner's report says Rhodes was identified by his fingerprints. 

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