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Victim of deadly Racine house fire identified as 55-year-old man

NOW: Victim of deadly Racine house fire identified as 55-year-old man

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Updated: 10:43 a.m. May 23, 2019

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Racine Police have identified the man firefighters found dead while putting out a house fire early Tuesday morning. 

Investigators say 55-year-old Steven Eschmann lived at the home on Coolidge Avenue. 

The cause of the fire is still being investigated. 

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Updated: 4:00 p.m. May 21, 2019

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- People who live on Coolidge Avenue in Racine woke up to a fire on the block.

“It was so intense everybody was like get back get back,” a neighbor who didn’t want to be identified said.

Several people took out their phones and recorded the flames tearing through the home, but not without first trying to help those still inside.

“Neighbors were pounding on the door like get out get out!”

First responders got the call around 4:20 a.m. Tuesday.

“The house was pretty much fully engulfed at that time,” Sgt. Adam Malacara with the Racine Police Department said.

Firefighters found a person and a dog dead inside the home.

“Due to the fire and how big it was, we have to wait to check everything to identify it,” Sgt. Malacara said. “We don’t know who it is at this time.”

Neighbors say an older man lived in the home.

“He sat on his porch he let all of us neighbors play with his little dog,” a neighbor said. “He was friendly, he was nice.”

The fire was so intense it melted the siding of the house next door.

“I mean I live two houses away and I could feel the heat and we were inhaling the smoke it was bad,” a neighbor said.

Racine Police are helping the fire department investigate the cause.

“We have our arson guys out there,” Sgt. Malacara said. “We aren’t labeling this as an arson. We don’t know if there is anything suspicious with this, but we want to make sure we cover our bases.”

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Posted: 12:04 p.m. May 21, 2019

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- One person is dead after a fire in Racine early Tuesday morning. 

Firefighters entered a home near Coolidge and Webster Street shortly before 4:30 a.m. They found one person dead inside. A dog was also killed. 

Both Racine Police and Fire are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call (262) 635-7756.

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