FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

UPDATE: Man involved in Menasha fire that killed 18-month-old convicted

Local News
9/6/19 1:48 p.m.

MENASHA, Wis. (WFRV) — A man involved in a fire that killed an 18-month-old boy has been convicted.

Vernon Williams entered a plea of no contest Thursday to child neglect resulting in death.

In September 2018, investigators believe Williams fell asleep at home in Menasha when a child under his care started playing with a lighter resulting in the home catching on fire.

A toxicology report shows that Williams had a BAC of more than three times the legal limit.

Williams will be sentenced on November 15.

UPDATE:10/12/2018 2:07 PM

29-year-old Vernon Williams turned himself in this morning to the Menasha Police Department.

Police were looking for Williams after filing felony charges against him for child neglect. Officials say he fell asleep and was intoxicated while a fire broke out in his house causing the death of an 18-month-old boy on September 6th.

Investigators determined the cause of the fire started when two children Williams was watching got ahold of a lighter.  After the children failed to wake Williams up, another tenant came into the apartment and woke Williams up.  They were not able to go back inside for the 18-month-old.

Toxicology tests prove Williams’ blood alcohol content was three times over the legal limit. 

UPDATE: 10/11/2018 3:50 pm

Felony charges have been filed in Winnebago County against 29-year-old Vernon Williams. It has been determined that he was asleep and intoxicated during the fire that caused the death of an 18-month-old boy on September 6th.

The investigation has shown that two of the children Williams was watching got a cigarette lighter and started a fire with it. The children said they had tried to wake Williams up but couldn’t. Another tenant was able to get inside and wake him up, but both were unable to go back inside to get the 18-month-old. 

A toxicology tests showed that Williams had a blood alcohol content of more than three times the legal limit. Williams has not turned himself in and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

If anyone has information on the whereabouts of Williams, you can contact Menasha Police Department. 

TUESDAY 9/11/2018 11:02 a.m.

Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue are saying the 18-month-old child injured in an apartment fire has died.

According to NMFR, the child was transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee after first being taken to Theda Care in Neenah following the fire.

The physicians and staff at Theda Care Neenah, as well as Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, did everything in their ability to care for the young boy.

Unfortunately, officials say, physicians were not able overcome the extent of injuries sustained in the fire.

The child passed away Monday evening.

NMFR, as well as MPD and Gold Cross, expressed sadness to learn of the passing of this young child.

THURSDAY 9/6/2018 7:20 p.m.

Firefighters were able to control a Menasha apartment fire earlier today.

Crews responded to a call at the apartment building on First and Lush streets around 1:30 PM.

Most residents made it out safely, with some suffering from minor injuries.

However, CPR did have to be performed to a baby on the scene.

The child was then taken to the hospital, and responders were able to revive the child.

The condition of the child is unknown at this time. 

The investigation into the fire is still ongoing. 

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