Skip to main content

Mother and 2-year-old daughter killed in Rochester apartment fire

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A woman and her 2-year-old daughter were killed in an apartment fire in Rochester Thursday evening.

The Rochester Fire Department said it was called to the fire in the 400 block of 27th St. NE, at 5:45 p.m. to find the building ablaze.

Two people were rescued from the four-plex, but upon entering the building a woman and girl were found. They died despite the best efforts of Gold Cross Ambulance.

ABC 6 reports they have been identified as Melissa Phiefer, 35, and her daughter Emily Phiefer. Melissa Phiefer died at the scene, with her daughter dying at the hospital a short time later.

Fire officials told the Star Tribune the blaze was "unusual" for that time of the day, reaching extreme temperatures inside before shattering a window, with toxic fumes built up inside.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, as well as with the first responders who made such valiant efforts to save them," the fire department said on Facebook.

Deputy fire chief Steve Belau told KTTC the fire is likely to have been burning for some time.

Although officials haven't confirmed the relationship between the woman and toddler, KTTC says they are believed to be mother and daughter.

Next Up


Police: Teens 'careen recklessly' in stolen BMW, Mercedes in north metro

They ended up crashing the stolen vehicles, with two arrested and two others on the run.

fire truck

Fire table sparks blaze at Edina home

The fire remains under investigation, but fire officials believe it was accidental.

money hundred dollar bills

Charges: California woman embezzled over $1M from MN employer

Mai Xiong faces several federal charges in the case.

Hsa Law Yaw Say

Shot woman who sparked appeal found injured at Twin Cities hotel

Authorities began searching for Hsa Say early Monday morning.


Development may bring changes to Stonebrooke Golf Club in 2023

The popular southwest metro golf course offers scenic views of O'Dowd Lake.


Homeowners alert DNR to grouse hunting complaints in Northland

Some hunters are allegedly shooting directly in front of houses.


Charges: Teen couple tortured children while babysitting in St. Paul

A doctor called this "the worst case of abuse he has seen in over 20 years."


New apartment proposal could spell the end for Myth Live

Myth Live in Maplewood has a spotty past with the surrounding community.

Hsa Law Yaw Say

Police trying to find woman, 18, who was shot at in St. Paul

Police are looking for help finding the woman.


Is an Amazon grocery store coming to Woodbury?

There's six rumored stores in the Twin Cities.


Man sentenced to life in prison for 2021 murder of girlfriend

Lacy Jo Krube, 36, was found unresponsive at her St. Paul home, after she'd been beaten in Brooklyn Park.


Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 11.08.00 AM

Video: Flames leap from apartments in fire that killed 2 cats

The condo owners have been displaced by the blaze.