Update: Autopsy complete in Tosa fire

CREATED Aug. 19, 2011 - UPDATED: Aug. 19, 2011

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  • The 911 calls have been released after a deadly fire in Wauwatosa. Meanwhile, the investigation continues into whether shots were fired at crews trying to put out the fire. Lacey Crisp reports. Video by wtmj.com

  • deadly house fire in Wauwatosa Video by wtmj.com

  • Lacey Crisp reports Video by wtmj.com

  • Nick Montes reports Video by wtmj.com

  • Diane Pathieu reports. Video by wtmj.com


WAUWATOSA - Investigators were spending Friday searching for the reasons for the deadly house fire in the western part of Wauwatosa, and the bizarre events surrounding that fire.

One person died in the fire Thursday at the home of North 119th and West Cherry Streets.

What started as a house fire turned into something more when, firefighters believe, they heard a gunshot inside the home.

Officials did not identify the victim, but it could be a man who lived in the home.

The Medical Examiner's office has completed the autopsy, according to TODAY's TMJ4 reporter Lacey Crisp.  Police have put a non-disclosure on the results.  A positive ID may not come until next week.

Police sent neighbors searching for safety and locked down the neighborhood as events unfolded.

"I thought, 'OK, I'm in my driveway, I'm far away, it's about a block up," said Judy Shepherd, a neighbor.

"The policeman said 'Get in your basement, go in your basement, stay in your basement,' and we've been locked up.  We did hear a bunch of shots.  I thought, like, 'Pop pop pop."

"I pulled into my driveway, and there were officers with guns drawn, and so I knew I had to get her to safety," explained David Niles, who lives across the street.

Investigators want to know what happened on the second floor of the home, which was destroyed in the fire.

When firefighters got to the fire scene, they made their way to the top of the steps when they heard what they believed to be a gunshot.

"You hear a lot of noises in a fire.  The crew that went in are familiar with guns, especially the one who made the call, and he was convinced and still is that what he heard was a gun," said Fire Chief Rob Ugaste.

Neighbors say that a woman lived in the home with her older adult son.

Police are looking into whether a gun, fireworks, or something else went off in the home.

They have not identified the name of the person who died or how the fire started.