No Battery in Smoke Detector At Fatal Milwaukee Fire

Investigators said the 28-year-old woman had a smoke detector in her apartment this morning, but the battery had been removed.


A woman died Friday morning following an apartment fire on Milwaukee's east side.

"It was a relatively minor fire, and a smoke detector would have made all the difference," Milwaukee Fire Lt. Brian O'Connor said.

Investigators said 28-year-old Holly Diaz had a smoke detector in her apartment this morning, but the battery had been removed.

She lived in apartment 604 in the building at 1609 North Prospect.

Firefighters said smoke alarms were going off in all of the apartments but hers.

"She was found in the bedroom, and the fire was contained to the living room area," Holly's mother, Paula Diaz, said.

Paramedics tried CPR and other medical care but could not save her.

An official cause is undetermined, but early indications are that it was either smoking or burning candles.

According to a 12 News investigation, unattended candles are a leading cause of fire deaths, especially during the Christmas season, so firefighters are again reminding people how important it is to have a working smoke detector.

"Have a working smoke detector. Check it. We're finding that 90 percent of households we go to have working smoke detectors, so all our fatal fires are in houses that don't have smoke detectors. So, that shows you that we're dealing with just a few houses, and this is where the fatalities are," O'Connor said.

Holly Diaz moved to Milwaukee from Minnesota only recently. She was employed at Johnson Controls.