A Lakeville High School graduate and University of North Dakota student has died of injuries he suffered in a fire at the house he was renting in Grand Forks, N.D., the Star Tribune reports. Matt Heisler, 21, was pulled out of the burning house early Sunday morning by his roommate , Ryan Nelson, who is also from Lakeville.
Heisler died Tuesday morning at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
According to the Star Tribune, Heisler’s parents, Jared and Cheryl Heisler, issued a statement through the hospital: “This morning we had to say goodbye to our beloved son. In accordance with his wishes, his organs will be donated so that others can live. We just cannot express how much we will miss Matthew, and how the thought of going through the rest of our lives without him is beyond what we can imagine right now.
“We want to thank everyone who has prayed for Matthew and supported us during this difficult time. Please continue to pray for those who will be blessed by life-giving transplants from Matthew, and for his family and friends.”
The fire started from food left cooking on the stove, and the blaze then spread through the kitchen, according to the Grand Forks fire department. The house sustained about $80,000 in damage.
Heisler's familydescribed how Nelson risked his life to try to save their son in a journal entry on the Caringbridge website.
“Ryan could see the smoke in the windows and immediately ran to the back of the house where Matt’s room is and broke the window by throwing a brick. Ryan climbed inside but when he couldn’t find Matt on his bed he didn’t give up. Ryan climbed back out the window and went back to the front door, forcing his way through heavy smoke on his hands and knees and searched for Matt until he found him,” wrote his parents and sister, Jared and Cheryl Heisler and Casey Heisler in the post. “Ryan carried Matt out of the house and when he realized there was no heart beat, he gave Matt CPR and mouth-to-mouth until he got his heart to start beating again.”
The pair were transported to a Grand Forks Hospital. Heisler's heart stopped beating again and he was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center. He had been in a hyperbaric chamber to treat the effects of smoke inhalation, his family wrote.