Man killed in St. Paul house fire identified as father of three

Justin Slanina died in the early hours of Saturday.
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The man killed in a Saturday morning house fire in St. Paul has been identified as a 29-year-old father of three.

Justin Slanina was killed in a fire at an apartment unit on the 400 block of Front Avenue, with flames reported as coming from the first floor at around 2:30 a.m.

Slanina is the father of three boys, aged 6, 7, and 8, who were staying with their mother on the night of the fire.

A fundraiser has been launched on Facebook by Michelle Berg, the partner of Slanina's uncle, who writes: "He left behind 3 young boys who lost Everything in the fire including the dad they loved with all their hearts."

The fundraiser has so far received more than $4,000 in donations, with the money being put towards Slanina's funeral expenses.

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Firefighters attending the scene were initially told that Slanina's three sons might also be in the apartment with him, but when they got their they only found the 29-year-old's body.

Berg spoke to the Pioneer Press, saying telling the boys that their father had died was "the most heartbreaking thing to watch."

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but preliminary findings are that it was smoking related.

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