ASHLAND — Three people were discovered deceased following a report of a house fire in Ashland County, according to a press release from the Ashland Police Department.

Ashland County Dispatch received a 911 call at 9:33a on Monday, July 5, 2021, reporting a house fire at 1318 6th Street West. The Ashland Police Department and Ashland Fire Department responded and found that three people had exited the burning house. One of the three was transported to an area hospital for burn injuries.

The Ashland Police Department says that upon further investigation, three other people were found deceased inside of the house. They have been identified by authorities as Jordan Chowning (36), Michelle Hathaway (17), and Alyssa Chowning (14).

The incident is under investigation by the Ashland Fire Department, Ashland Police Department, and Wisconsin Department of Justice State Fire Marshall. The investigation is still active and autopsies are being completed, “which is a standard operating procedure in this type of investigation,” according to the Ashland Police Department.

“No further details can be released as to the origin of the fire until the completion of the investigation and completion of the autopsies.”

Update: The preliminary autopsy results confirmed that the three victims died of smoke inhalation, according to the Ashland Police Department. The cause of the fire remains under investigation but the preliminary finding on the scene is that the fire was started accidentally by a young child in the house while the others in the house were sleeping.

Authorities also said that Toxicology reports and the final autopsy reports are still pending. 

Last Update: Jul 14, 2021 12:31 pm CDT

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