Community remembers 2 students killed in Eau Claire apartment fire

Friends, family and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire community remember two students killed in an apartment fire Monday morning. Twenty-one-year-old Ross Livermore and 22-year-old Jacob Clarkson were found unconscious inside the building when firefighters arrived. The students from Stillwater lived in the apartment with two other Stillwater High School grads who managed to escape.

Two University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students from Stillwater died after their off-campus apartment went up in flames Monday morning.

The Star Tribune reports 21-year-old Ross Livermore never made it out of the fire and 22-year-old Jacob Clarkson suffered serious burns and died Tuesday afternoon at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Their two roommates Garret Isakson and Casey Malan, , both 21 years old from Stillwater, escaped and were treated at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire and released.

The four men grew up together and played together in the pep band at Stillwater High School.

"These guys have been best friends -- all of them -- since the third grade. They're very close to each other. One of their friends said to me: 'If you know one of them, you know all of them,' " Brian Carlisle, dean of students at UW-Eau Claire, tells the Pioneer Press.

FOX9 says members of the Blugold Marching Band paused Tuesday to remember Livermore, an accomplished trombone player with the university marching band.

A friend of Livermore, Joe Carlson, describes his bandmate to WCCO as an inspiration and passionate about music.

Clarkson's family said in a statement, "Jacob enjoyed life and willed that others would have the chance for life too. That's why we're honoring his decision to be an organ donor. We are so proud of him and miss him more than words can say."

Reports say a police detective on his way to work Monday morning saw flames coming from the windows of the second-story apartment on Water Street. When firefighters entered the building, they found Livermore and Clarkson unconscious. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

WCCO reports firefighters found a smoke detector without a battery and officials are looking into the statuses of the other two detectors.

Thursday afternoon, the university bells will play to remember the victims, FOX9 reports.

Minneapolis News and Weather KMSP FOX 9

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