Janesville fire victim arrested hours before fire started

UPDATE (WKOW) -- A man who died in a house fire in Janesville Saturday night had a run in with police a few hours earlier.

Janesville police say William Russell, 35, turned in front of an oncoming vehicle around 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of Centerway and Harding streets. Two Beloit women in the oncoming car were taken to a local hospital and released.

Police say Russell appeared as if he had been drinking, but he denied it. He was taken to a hospital and his blood was drawn. He was arrested for OWI causing injury and other minor traffic offenses. His mother Karen Russell picked him up from the Janesville Police Department around 7:30 p.m. and took him to their home on Hamilton Avenue in Janesville.

About an hour later, neighbors noticed smoke coming from the house and police say they helped Karen Russell get out safely. Officers who were called to the scene were not able to find William Russell because of heavy smoke. Janesville firefighters were called to the home and found Russell dead inside, according to police.

Authorities are still looking into how and where the fire started inside the house. 

********UPDATE (WKOW) -- Authorities have identified a man killed in a house fire in Janesville Saturday night.According to the Rock County Medical Examiner's Department, William E. Russell, 35, died from being injured in a fire. Authorities say he was found inside a home on Hamilton Avenue that was on fire Saturday night. 

********JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- Firefighters found one person dead after a Janesville home caught fire Saturday night.

The Janesville Fire Department says it was called to a fire at 1709 Hamilton Avenue at about 8:30 Saturday night. Neighbors had done their best to help, getting one of the occupants out and trying to put out the fire with a garden hose.

Once officials got there, they discovered the other resident of the home had died. That person's name hasn't been released yet, but we know he was a 35-year-old man.

Firefighters say there was about $25,000 worth of damage. They're still investigating how this fire started.

For more on this story: http://www.wkow.com/story/35797757/2017/07/02/man-found-dead-after-fire-breaks-out-in-janesville-home

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