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1 man dies in St. Louis Park fire; other fires leave injuries

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. (AP) - One man died in a house fire in St. Louis Park on Sunday, just a day after small children were rescued from another house fire in the city, Fire Chief Luke Stemmer said.

Sunday's fire on the 1400 block of Oregon Avenue was reported about 7 a.m. by a motorist on Highway 394, Stemmer said. By that time, flames were coming through the roof.

"The roof was already starting to collapse," Stemmer said. The resident and his dog were found dead inside.

Stemmer said the house was destroyed and the cause of the fire was being investigated. "Some of the outside walls are burned away. The roof is completely gone ... It's going to take us a while to piece this all together," he said.

The house is about five blocks away from Highway 394, and the passers-by who reported the blaze had to drive off the highway to see what was going on. They woke up an elderly couple sleeping in a house next door, Stemmer said. That house had some light damage.

"It's unusual for us to get a house fully involved like this at 7 in the morning and not have anybody see it," he said, adding that the situation could've been worse if the passers-by hadn't made the call.

A day earlier, firefighters rescued a family from another fire in St. Louis Park. That blaze left a 1-year-old boy critically injured and his mother was in serious condition. Two other children had to be rescued by police and firefighters, while two others made it out on their own.

And two grandparents were hospitalized with second-degree burns after a Saturday fire in Brooklyn Park. Firefighters rescued the couple from a second-story bedroom. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries.