Milwaukee Landlord says Fire started during Eviction Hearing was Arson by Tenant

He was trying to evict his tenants. Now a Milwaukee landlord finds himself homeless.

Monday afternoon a fire destroyed Dan Crowley's duplex on North 36th Street. He said he believes that the fire was started by his tenants who live on the other levels of his building.

"This has a lot to do with a landlord tenant issue. They're two months behind in the rent and I see this as retaliation in my eyes. He's burning me out of my house - if I can't stay there, he can't stay there - that sort of thing," Crowley said.

Court records shows the history of the conflict. Monday afternoon Crowley was supposed to have an eviction hearing in at the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

The tenants didn't show up at 2:30 p.m. which was the scheduled time, he said.

At 3:30 p.m. Milwaukee firefighters got the call for the fire.

"As for a cause, I have absolutely no idea just yet but we are investigating. Police are going to assist us with that," Milwaukee Fire Department Deputy Chief Aaron Lipski said.

A spokesperson for the Milwaukee Police Department said they are in the very early stages of their investigation and no arrests have been made at this point.

But Crowley is calling for for fast action and an arrest.

"I don't know. I would go to the police station today because if they let this individual who I'm accusing hands down of doing what he did and there are physical witnesses, he should be incarcerated," Crowley said.

One of the tenants that Crowley is accusing of arson was at the scene during the emergency response. That tenant declined to comment.

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