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Early morning fire kills man in St. Paul 'hoarding' house

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A man believed to be in his 60s died Tuesday morning in a fire at a house that investigators say was full ceiling-to-floor with personal belongings, and initial reports indicate he may have had trouble getting out.

Several news outlets are reporting on the fire, which happened in the 1400 block of Hamline Avenue North in St. Paul around 2:15 a.m. Tuesday.

"We couldn’t get inside the house because it was literally filled floor-to-ceiling with stuff, in the front, in the back, on the sides. Some people call it hoarding," St. Paul Fire Chief Steve Zaccard tells WCCO-TV.

The Star Tribune calls the man a "prolific hoarder."

Crews found the fire on the south side of the home, according to WCCO, and officials said it appears to have started in the basement before it spread to the first and second floors of the home.

The man's personal items scattered all over the home were still smoldering as of 7 a.m, according to Fox 9, which estimates the man's age at 40. He has not been identified, the station reports, and neighbors say he lived alone.

Firefighters cut open windows and doors and other parts of the house to work to extinguish it from the outside because they couldn't get inside, the Pioneer Press reports.

Jeremiah Jacobsen of KARE 11 has this video:

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