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Homicide/House Explosion Update

September 20, 2017 12:14 PM

I just wanted to give all of you an update regarding the recent homicide/home explosion on Stratton Way.

Steven Pirus, who is the suspect case had a bail hearing yesterday and now has a 1 million dollar bail.    

This was a huge case considering the time, personnel, and resources that were spent on this case. We worked closely with Madison Fire Department, Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) throughout the investigation.

 Many of our own City agencies also stepped up with assistance and resources. Streets and Traffic and Engineering helped out with barricades and street cleanup. Engineering brought in heavy equipment and operators to be with us throughout the investigation and Metro gave us a bus to assist with giving emergency responders a place to take breaks and get out of the sun.  Every agency had a role and responsibility in this investigation.

Red Cross was there at the beginning to help find housing for those people who were displaced from their homes, MGE had teams of people working on making sure the neighborhood was safe and ensuring the homes nearby did not have gas leaks.  Building Inspection had to inspect all the nearby homes to ensure they were structurally sound before people were allowed back in.  Insurance companies were contacted to help ensure that cleanup was getting done and the area was fenced off.

I had heard comments from the public wondering why we were at the scene so long.   It is important to note that incidents like these take an incredible amount of time to investigate. We had to basically hand pick, and later sift through small screens, many tens of thousands of pounds of fire debris with the ultimate goal of finding critical evidence and exposing the facts and truth in this case. This was certainly not a glamorous job, but a crucial job.  People left the scene, dirty, smelly and tired from working in ashes and being in the sun all day.

The streets had to be shut down and officers had to be on scene to protect the evidence until the entire scene could be processed.  We apologize for the inconvenience this caused those of you who live in the area, but we trust our citizens share our goal of thoroughly investigating every case and holding those accountable for crimes committed, as was the case here.

Lastly, Salvation Army played a crucial role for us.  They were there from the beginning providing emergency workers with food, drinks, tents and ice packs throughout the entire 5 days we were on scene.  

There were an incredible number of moving parts going on throughout this investigation, come very visible and many behind the scenes. The oversight and coordination of those parts was crucial.  In a case like this, it takes the combined power of everyone to ensure a successful outcome and certainly this could not have taken place without the great working relationships we have with other agencies and of course without the support and patience of our community.

This case is not over, this will occupy our detectives for days and weeks serving legal paper, generating timelines, further interviews etc...  This is just to show how many city, state and federal resources it takes in an investigation of this magnitude.

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