Arson investigation after man found dead at northwest side fire

CREATED Feb 8, 2012 - UPDATED: Feb 8, 2012

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MILWAUKEE - Investigators with the Milwaukee Police and Fire Departments are looking into both the cause of a fire at what was believed to be a vacant home, and why a man's body ended up inside the home.

Just after 2:00 a.m. Wednesday, Milwaukee Fire crews arrived at the scene of the house fire, on the 4900 block of North 49th Street.

Once the fire was out, investigators discovered the body who family members believe is Marlon Booker, 39.

Milwaukee Police arson division detectives spent Thursday collecting evidence. 

They did not say with certainty if the fire was intentionally set, but they have not ruled out arson as a possibility.

Officials were also set to conduct an autopsy on the body.  They are hoping it determines if he died from the fire, or if he was dead before the home caught fire.

"That's sad to hear that," said Ronney Johnson, who lives on the block.  "My heart goes out to the family of the person that passed."

"It makes me want to watch my neighborhood more, and be more tuned in with what's going on over here."

The house has been boarded up.

Booker's family has gone to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's office to try to confirm.