Residents of a St. Paul apartment building were evacuated from their homes overnight as fire swept through the two-story structure. KMSP said that the St. Paul Fire Department determined the lone smoke detector in the building had been disabled.
Fire officials used the incident to remind the public to refrain from tampering with smoke alarms and to test them every month.
KSTP reports that St. Paul fire department and emergency crews responded to the blaze in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood at around 4 a.m. The station reports one person was killed in the fire and identified the victim as Chris Meusburger, 30, of St. Paul. He of was found dead inside his apartment.
When fire crews arrived, the apartment building was fully-engulfed and smoke was billowing out of the rooftop. The station reported that the smell of smoke was detected inside the Channel 5 newsroom, located nearly a mile away.
The Pioneer Press reported that the fire was reported by a passerby and by one of the tenants on the second floor .When fire crews arrived, the fire had already killed one man who lived on the first floor, according to St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard. The State Fire Marshal and St. Paul Police are assisting the St. Paul Fire Department in determining the cause of the fire, which is standard when there is a fatality.
The Star Tribune said that no other people were injured, citing St. Paul Fire Department tweets. Two units in the building were uninhabitable, but other residents have been allowed to return to their apartments.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
This was the first fatal fire of the year in St. Paul. On New Year's Day, three residents of an apartment building in Minneapolis died in a fire and explosion in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.