The Eau Claire Police Department is investigating the fire after it says none of the six college students living in the home knew the victim.
Fire officials found the victim, 21-year-old Jaime Thayer-Vega, inside the home
Police say one of the tenants saw an intruder in his home and that intruder is identified as Thayer-Vega.
“There was a physical confrontation that ensued with this intruder,” said Lt. Derek Thomas with ECPD. “At that point, he noticed there was a fire, and it’s still under investigation whether or not it was active prior to him making contact with the intruder or after he made contact with the intruder.”
Thomas said the tenant then notified the other people living there of the fire, and they were able to make it out of the house safely.
Thomas said Thayer-Vega was a stranger.
“Nobody inside of that house knows who he is,” said Thomas. “Nobody inside the house knows why he was there or what he was doing.
Nobody in the house knows exactly when the fire was started, how it was started, and when it was started.”
Police say a preliminary autopsy report shows Thayer-Vega’s cause of death is smoke inhalation.
The investigation is ongoing and the cause of the fire is still unknown.
Police said the American Red Cross is assisting those displaced by the fire.