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Vigil for house fire victim

Eau Claire (WQOW) – The family of the man who died in a house fire back in October is looking for answers surrounding his death.

Thayer-Vega died in a house on Congress Street in Eau Claire during the fire on Oct. 19. He was the only person inside at the time who did not make it out alive.

According to Eau Claire police, Thayer-Vega was an intruder that the tenants of the home did not know. His family and friends said they are searching for the full story of what happened that day.

Loved ones said they want Jaime Thayer-Vega to be remembered as a hardworking and caring family man, and not an alleged intruder.

Thayer-Vega’s fiancee, Desiree Week, organized the vigil outside the home where he died to bring attention to the case and hopes that anyone who passes by will see the memorial she and others made and be encouraged to seek out answers on Thayer-Vega’s death.

“I want people to know that we’re not just sitting back and ignoring all this,” Week said. “That we’re here and we want answers and we’re not just going to sit and let this blow over like it wasn’t anything because Jaime was important to a lot, a lot of people and he’s very dearly missed by many.”

The Eau Claire Police Department said they hope to have those answers as the investigation into the incident continues, noting that there are still many factors to look over before anything is final.

“Right now we are waiting on reports and results from the state crime lab and information from the autopsy,” said Eau Claire Police Officer Bridget Coit. “Once we get that information, we’ll hopefully be able to make some type of conclusion and know some more answers about the case to provide to the community but especially the family members involved.”

Officer Coit added that the police department sends their condolences to Thayer-Vega’s family and friends, and that any death of a young person in the community is a tragedy.

An autopsy identified Thayer-Vega’s cause of death as smoke inhalation, but investigators still cannot say why he couldn’t escape the fire. The investigation is ongoing.

Mary Pautsch

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