3 children killed in West Allis fire, mom in custody

CREATED Apr 11, 2013 - UPDATED: Apr 12, 2013

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  • Photo: Jon Byman

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  • Photo courtesy Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel. A firefighter walks away from the scene of a fire in the 7700 block of W. Hicks St. on Friday morning. Officials with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the state Department of Justice arrived on the scene this morning. The fire left three dead. READ MORE Image by Photo courtesy Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel

  • Photo courtesy Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel A firefighter walks away from the fire scene at 7750 W. Hicks St. on Friday morning. West Allis police say three people were found dead after the house fire that was reported on Thursday afternoon. Image by Photo courtesy Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel

  • Photo courtesy Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel. A police officer digs through the debris as investigators are on the scene of a fatal fire in West Allis. Image by Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel

  • Photo courtesy Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel. Investigators are on the scene of a fatal fire in West Allis. Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel Image by Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel

  • Photo courtesy Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel. Investigators from the ATF and the DOJ DCI are on the scene of a fatal fire in West Allis. Photo courtesy Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel Image by Kristyna Wentz-Graff - Journal Sentinel

  • Photo courtesy C.T. Kruger - Journal Sentinel. West Allis Police and Fire investigators are on the scene of a fatal house fire in the 7700 block of West Hicks Street on April 12. Officials have reported the April 11 fire left three people dead. Image by C.T. Kruger - Journal Sentinel

Scroll through the slideshow for more photos videos on the investigation, including the West Allis press conference held Friday afternoon.

WEST ALLIS - West Allis Police and Fire have confirmed the victims in the fatal fire Thursday night were two four-year-old boys and one five-year-old girl.

According to police, there were no adults home at the time of the fire, and the mother is currently in custody.

The police and fire departments in West Allis responded to the fire at a home near the corner of South 77th and West Hicks Streets just after 5:15 p.m. Thursday night.

"West Allis Fire Department personnel worked to extinguish the fire and investigators from the West Allis Police Department are assisting to determine the cause and origin," said Acting Chief Charles Padgett with the West Allis Police Department.

Padgett said they can confirm three people found dead inside the home, but they do not yet know the cause of the fire.

The original statement from police said there were four people inside the home, but Padgett later said that "rescue personnel confirm three. Due to structural instability rescue personnel (were) unable to safely reach all areas inside at this point."

Fire Chief Gary Streicher told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Jon Byman that crews found a hole in the bedroom and significant damage throughout the home. 

TODAY'S TMJ4's Nick Montes reports that a family lived in the rental property.

The fire is still under investigation.  On Friday, we could learn the identities of the people who died.

This is the second deadly fire in the area in less than a month, and the chief said he'd be helping his staff through the mental stress.

Check back for more information on this story as details come in to us.

Jon Byman, Cody Holyoke, Nick Montes and Lacey Crisp contributed to this story.