25-year-old son of Navy veteran dies in Red Wing house fire

The fire happened Sunday morning.
Publish date:

A house fire in Red Wing Sunday morning claimed the life of a 25-year-old man. 

Red Wing Fire Department was sent to the 1200 block of Phelps Street at 8:19 a.m., and as they arrived at the scene they were alerted by neighbors that a person was still inside the burning home. 

Firefighters began "an aggressive interior operation" while also searching the home, minutes later finding a victim on the first floor. Paramedics rendered aid and transported to the 25-year-old man to Red Wing-Mayo Clinic Health System where he was pronounced dead. 

The victim has been identified Ocean Christofferson. 

“Sadly, today the City of Red Wing has encountered our first fatality fire in many years. The loss of a life is tragic and we are saddened to lose one of our community members and neighbor,” said Red Wing Fire Chief Shannon Draper, according to FOX 47. “I am proud of the quick efforts of our firefighters and paramedics our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.”

Subscribe: Sign up to receive our daily newsletters

Christofferson is the son of Darwin Christofferson, a Navy veteran and commander of the local American Legion. He and his son also worked at Liberty's Restaurant & Lounge in Red Wing. 

"Darwin Christofferson started working at Liberty's in 1986," the restaurant's Facebook page says in a tribute to the family. "The morning of November 10th his house caught fire with his son, Ocean inside. Sadly Ocean, 25, didn't make it. Ocean worked at Liberty's since he was 16 years old. Darwin and Ocean are part of our Liberty's family. Ocean will be forever missed."

According to KSTP, Darwin Christofferson served in the Navy for three decades and an American flag was placed in the front of his home on Sunday afternoon. 

"Our deepest sympathy to Commander Christofferson and his family," American Legion Post #54 wrote on Facebook. "We would ask everyone to please say a prayer for the Commander and his family at this difficult time."

A GoFundMe has been launched and so far has raised more than $5,000 of a $15,000 goal. All money will help pay for funeral expenses and help Darwin Christofferson rebuild. 

The State Fire Marshal and Red Wing Police Department are investigating the cause of the fire.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Wolves-Grizzlies game off, KAT tests postive for COVID

The Timberwolves star was among several players that are dealing with COVID-related issues.

minnesota state fair

Planning for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair is underway

The fair suffered huge financial losses due to COVID-19, but organizers are moving forward with planning "different scenarios" for this summer.

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 2.16.44 PM

Heather Brown named as new WCCO 'This Morning' anchor

She will be joining Jason DeRusha on the CBS affiliate's Morning Show.

DPS John Harrington

DPS Commissioner: No credible threats to state Capitol, but ready if something arises

Local and state law enforcement officials have a plan in case a threat arises.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Here are snow totals from Thursday-Friday winter storm

It's a slushy mess in the metro, but snow did pile up in southern counties.

tim walz

Walz fury after report that government's COVID vaccine reserve is nonexistent

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Trump Administration has shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve.

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on MLK Day 2021?

Local government offices will generally be closed on Monday.

BMTN 900x450 (8)

Company that falsely promised student loan forgiveness banned from MN

It's also been ordered to repay $11,499 in fees taken from Minnesotans.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for January 15

Hospitalizations are the lowest in Minnesota since October 25.


Osterholm: B117 COVID strain could become major issue in 6-8 weeks

The B117 variant is believed to be more easily transmitted.


fire, firefighter

Boy dies, 3 others airlifted following Becker County house fire

The fire was reported just after 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

Screen Shot 2019-03-26 at 10.07.16 AM

1 dead in Woodbury house fire Tuesday morning

The fire was reported after 6 a.m. by a neighbor who called 911.

Red Wing mourns after unexpected death of former fire chief

Tom Schneider died suddenly on Saturday at the age of 55.

Man dies, woman and 2 teens escape house fire in Andover

The teenagers were taken to a hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.

Man dies after being severely burned in grass fire

The fire happened near a lake northeast of Sauk Centre.

fire, flames

Apartment complex fire leaves 1 dead in Montevideo

The fire happened very early Tuesday morning.