One dead, three hurt after house fire on Milwaukee's north side

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- One person is dead and three others hurt after a house fire on Milwaukee's north side early Saturday, September 6th. Among the persons hurt was a Milwaukee firefighter.

Fire crews were called to the scene around 4 a.m. Officials say when they arrived on the scene, there was heavy fire showing from the windows in the building.

People who had gotten out of the building indicated to emergency crews that someone may still be inside. When crews entered the building, they found the victim in a back bedroom.

Fire officials say the fire appears to have started on the first floor -- but flames extended to the second floor.

Officials are investigating the cause of the fire -- but say more importantly, there were no smoke detectors in the home.

Family tells FOX6 News the devastating fire claimed the life of 46-year-old Tammy Steele. A neighbor saw her about an hour before the fire and tried to help -- tonight he is grieving.

"I seen the flames shooting out the side of the house. My daughter came running out of the room and said the house on fire," said Charles Lucas, a friend of Tammy Steele.

Six people were inside the home, and neighbors say they ran to help.

"The door was so piping red, I couldn't do nothing. There was another guy around here and he was breaking out the windows. He was breaking out the windows," said Lucas.

Five people made it out of the fire, but loved ones say Tammy Steele did not survive.

"It just hurts. It always hurts to lose someone.  A good friend, a parent," said Lucas.

Lucas was with Steele just hours before the fire.

"I see you at 2:00, and at 3:40 your house is in flames," Lucas said.

It is a death firefighters say did not have to happen.

"We did find  two non-operational smoke detectors in the residence," said Milwaukee Fire Department Battalion Chief, Brian Smith.

Saturday afternoon, crews went door to door handing out smoke detectors -- trying to prevent another death.

"It's devastating. Not only is it devastating for the family, it's devastating for us," said Smith.

Two other people inside the home did suffer minor injuries. A firefighter was also hurt by falling debris.

Steele's death is the eighth fire death in Milwaukee.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.