Medical Examiner's Office issues report after 7-year-old killed in fire

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office released Monday, October 8th its report on the death of a seven-year-old boy in a fire over the weekend. The report indicates the home extensively burned after a cooking fire. The report says the flames spread quickly and there were no working smoke detectors in the home.

The fire occurred in the 3200 block of N. 23rd St.

The Medical Examiner's report indicates firefighters battled a two-alarm fire at the home, and had to enter the residence to put out the flames. Seven-year-old Joelle Creasy was found on the second floor of the home.

The Medical Examiner's report says six people were inside the home when the fire occurred -- five children and an adult relative.

The report indicates the adult relative began cooking, then went upstairs to use the computer and fell asleep. He reportedly woke up to the smell of something burning, and went downstairs and discovered the fire.

"When we got there, approximately two-and-a-half minutes later, the upper portion of the house was involved in heavy fire," Milwaukee Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing said.

The adult relative gathered the children and jumped off the roof of the home -- followed by four of the children. The fifth child -- Joelle Creasy -- was reportedly unable to make it out of the home -- though the fire had been extinguished.

The Medical Examiner's report indicates Joelle Creasy was pulled from under his bed on the second floor of the home.

Officials say there were no working smoke detectors in the home.

"In the house where the child died, there was a detector but there were no batteries in it, and that's just a shame. It's just tragic," Assistant Fire Chief Michael Romas said.

The boy's mother was reportedly out of town at the time of the fire. The boy's aunt says the family is completely devastated following the fire and loss.

"It`s just a shame -- a young child loses his life-like in a situation like that," neighbor Kelly Powell said.

Neighbors watched as firefighters fought the flames Saturday.  Thick smoke blanketed the block for hours.  Firefighters lined the street and emergency lights illuminated two homes engulfed in flames.

Monday, firefighters went door-to-door in the neighborhood checking to see whether smoke detectors were functioning, and installing detectors where there were none.

"There's a heightened sense of awareness about what just happened and people not wanting that to happen to them," Romas said.

Meanwhile, at the Milwaukee Fire Department's "Survive Alive" house, children learned what it's like to be in a fire, what to do and how to escape safely -- as the Milwaukee Fire Department celebrated the house's 20th anniversary.

"Children do a great job teaching their family what to do in a fire," Chief Rohlfing said.

The Fire Department hopes with a little knowledge lives can be saved.

"The number one thing people can do to save their lives in a fire is have a working smoke detector," Romas said.

Those needing a smoke detector can call the Milwaukee Fire Department "Smoke Detector Hotline" at (414) 286-8980. City of Milwaukee ordinance requires all residents to have working smoke detectors.