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Rhinelander police identify victim found in Friday night house fireSubmitted: 09/24/2018
RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander Police Department identified the man who died after a house fire on Friday night as 35-year-old Jeffery J. Becker.

Rhinelander Fire Chief Terry Williams told Newswatch 12 on Monday afternoon that an autopsy indicates Becker died from smoke inhalation, but the autopsy results and further investigation is now in the hands of the state Department of Criminal Investigations.

Crews responded to the house at 320 Rose Street, near Hodag Park, around 7:30 p.m. Friday.  Firefighters went inside the house soon after they arrived and found Becker unresponsive on the floor. Firefighters and paramedics tried to revive Becker, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.


The State Fire Marshal's Office is working with the Rhinelander Fire Department to determine a cause. Rhinelander Police Captain Ron Lueneburg told Newswatch 12 on Monday his department has "no information to indicate" the fire was suspicious.

Lueneburg said Becker was living as a tenant in the duplex, but wasn't sure how long he lived there prior to the fire.

Williams said the State Fire Marshal is called any time there is a death associated with a fire or if the cause is suspicious.  Williams echoed Lueneburg's comments that there is nothing suspicious about the cause of the fire at this time.

Toxicology reports will take several weeks to return, which Williams added is standard procedure for any fire-related death.


Story By: Lane Kimble
Photo By: Steve Smith

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