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Police ID mother, four-year-old girl killed in fire that police say was intentionally set

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MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee police on Monday, March 21st identified the woman and child that died in a house fire near 68th and Stevenson on the city's west side late Saturday, March 19th.

The victims are identified as 28-year-old Jessica Ellenberger and her four-year-old daughter, Madyson Marshel.

Jessica Ellenberger and Madyson Marshel

Jessica Ellenberger and Madyson Marshel

A Go Fund Me page has been set up for the victims of this fire.

A message on that page reads as follows:

On March 19th, my brother Christopher lost two very important people in his life: his daughter Madyson (4) and her mother Jessie. This horrific tragedy has rocked our family and become a deep emotional burden on my brother. Little Madyson was the light of his life and the most wonderful little girl who didn't deserve to be taken from this earth so suddenly. Just a few weeks ago, little Madyson had beaten cancer and had a new outlook on her bright future.

We as a family are starting this Go Fund Me on behalf of my brother,  whom we love very much, to help him cover the costs associated with taking care of the burial arrangements and restabilizing his life in this delicate tragedy.

Please keep my brother Christopher, Jessie's family, and ours in your prayers as we struggle to rebuild after such a tragedy.

Thank you and God bless you all.

Police say the fire is believed to have been intentionally set.

The victims were found dead inside the home around 9:00 p.m. Saturday.

Police are seeking suspects and working to determine a motive in this case. Autopsies have been performed on Ellenberger and Marshel, but those results are under non-disclosure.

Fire near 68th and Stevenson

Fire near 68th and Stevenson

FOX6 News spoke with a neighbor and friend of the woman and her daughter who were killed in this fire.

"I didn't see any flames. You could smell like, a sweet wood smell, like somebody was burning in a fireplace. You could see the smoke through their windows from outside. That's how thick it was -- even in the upstairs unit. You could literally see the smoke. Neither one of them made it. Devastating isn't even the word for it. You don't expect something like that to happen. You don't expect to lose somebody you care about in such a manner. I adored both of them -- but I especially adored that child. That was my sweet little girl, is what I called her. They loved each other. You saw it between them. Any time they were together, they laughed. They had fun. Every time I saw that child, she would run up and I'd get a hug and kiss and 'I love you.' She called me 'auntie.' I'm very complimented with that. I loved both of them a great deal. I really did. They weren't just neighbors. They were somebody that was deep in my heart. I just know for myself -- the shock if all of this is just starting to be real. If it is (a homicide,) I hope whomever took their lives, if that is the case, they find whoever did this. There was no commotion out here (Saturday) night. There was no yelling. No screaming. There was nothing," Vicki Clark said.

Fire near 68th and Stevenson

Fire near 68th and Stevenson

Clark said the owner of the duplex where the fire occurred is related to the woman and child killed in the fire, and lives in the upper unit.

Clark said the duplex's owner is the one who called 911 in this case.

Fire near 68th and Stevenson

Fire near 68th and Stevenson

Google Map for coordinates 43.032085 by -87.997376.


  • Opinion8d

    I hope justice is served. Hopefully the autopsy reveals something useful. Were they killed prior to the fire?? Knocked out? So sad!

    • Mark

      yeah, both of you make good points. Probably better to wait a few days and see whats what. Just such a shame what happened to the 2 girls. Really hope they find out who set that fire.

    • Dawn Eichhorst

      After reading the comments…I would gladly donate…I wish her Father..a former police officer..take control of the donations..or a this time ..I am holding off

    • Robbie

      Now the father wasn’t in his daughters life like that..him and his family are just looking for free money..because the mother and father of the mother that was killed will take care of it he’s a retired lieutenant of MPD

    • Robbie

      Yes she has a great family and they will cover the cost..dudes a joke I knew her and her baby’s dad wasn’t there like that..he was here and there ..them people are POS for saying they are paying all costs..that’s a lie when there was times he didn’t give them a dime when they were alive…pisses me off how people try to get money out of this.. Jess father will cover the cost

  • S

    From the looks of it, she comes from a great family with a great support system that would help cover any and all costs. That gofundme page should not have been put up as if the father is the only one covering costs. Not only is it borderline disrespectful as it should have considered the Ellenbergers, but also suspicious that it insinuates that he is covering costs himself. Not giving a dime. Those funds go to the account linked to it. That money could go anywhere.

    • Christina Gottschalk

      The father is convering the cost for the daughter please state facts or don’t write anything at all…

  • Christina Gottschalk

    You are all terrible people to speak badly against someone you don’t know. Christopher was always in Madys life you can ask leutinant Konrad Ellenberger. They are covering the cost of their daughters section and Chris is covering his daughter. I can post the bill if you scum of the earth people want to see it. I hope when you have a terrible tragedy people treat you souless human pieces of excrement the same way.

  • Christina gottschalk

    You don’t know what you are talking about,a little insignificant person who speaks nonsense and is scared to post your name. I’ll gladly bring you the bills our family has incurred send me your name and I’ll gladly slap a bill right to your face.

  • Corey

    Oh my God I said the same thing and everything you said is true but I hope they really do use for what they he wasn’t a financial supporter but he did care for his daughter

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