‘Cloud of suspicion:’ Bar where fatal shooting occurred in August catches fire again

MILWAUKEE -- Firefighters on Tuesday night, March 6 responded to the scene of a fire at a bar on Milwaukee's north side. The call came in around 11:30 p.m. Milwaukee firefighters are all too familiar with the vacant bar on the corner of 10th and Chambers, as they've knocked down three separate fires there since August.

"There is a cloud of suspicion around the whole package of fires," said Deputy Fire Chief Aaron Lipski.

Fire near 10th and Chambers

Fire near 10th and Chambers

Fire near 10th and Chambers

Lipski called all three fires suspicious.

"This building continues to deteriorate and deteriorate over time, and occasionally, we add in structural fire. This is a recipe for disaster," said Lipski.

Investigators believe the most recent fire Tuesday night started outside of the building.

Fire near 10th and Chambers

"It's very difficult to come up with any reason this building would have accidentally started on fire," said Lipski.

Neighbors have called the property a nuisance. They've been asking the city to tear it down for months.

Deandre Hart

On Aug. 5, Deandre Hart was shot and killed outside what was then the Good Times Bar. The building caught fire the next day -- and then a second time on Aug. 9.

Hart's family begged the city to tear the building down. The city boarded it up -- but let it stand.

Lipski said the building isn't safe for his crew or anyone in the neighborhood.

"We have buildings in close proximity that have some value. It's not going to take much effort to have the next building start and the next building start," said Lipski.

Lipski says the fire overnight caused about $48,000 in damage.

Fire near 10th and Chambers

It's not up to them, but the fire department is recommending the city condemn the building and finally tear it down. The fire department is working with the police department's "Arson Squad" to determine the cause of the fire.