Christopher Meusburger, 30, died in the St. Paul blaze and 48 apartments were damaged in Cottage Grove.
A 30-year-old man died in a fire early Sunday in the 700 block of Glendale Street near University Avenue in St. Paul, authorities said.
His family identified him as Christopher Meusburger.
St. Paul fire officials said a tenant called 911 shortly after 4:20 a.m., saying flames were coming from first-floor windows in the 11-unit townhouse complex.
Meusburger, who lived on the first floor, was dead by the time firefighters arrived at the scene, near University Avenue and Hwy. 280, authorities said.
Officials said fire detectors had been disabled in Meusburger’s apartment and the one above it. Residents of units other than those two were able to return to their homes about 90 minutes after the fire was put out.
Meusburger’s mother said her son grew up near his rental unit and knew everyone in the neighborhood. He worked in the family business, Bargain Upholstery, and did landscaping and snow shoveling, Diane Revoir said.
He also held classes for kids in martial arts and yoga, she said.
“He was always ready to help everybody,” his mother said. “He helped them when they were in trouble.”
He loved to read and cook and loved animals, she said.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Holcomb Henry Boom Funeral Home in St. Paul.
Cottage Grove fire
Another early-morning fire, in Cottage Grove, displaced residents of the Woodland Park Apartments near Hwy. 61 and 80th Street.
The fire broke out in a common area of the complex and was reported about 4:45 a.m., authorities said.
When firefighters arrived, fire and heavy smoke was coming from a second-floor window.
Four residents suffered from smoke inhalation. Three were treated at the scene; one was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Fire Chief Richard Redenius said 48 units “are affected by the fire due to several safety issues.”
The apartment management company as well as the Red Cross are helping residents who need a place to stay for a few days, he said. The Red Cross established an emergency shelter at the nearby Cottage Grove United Church of Christ, at 7008 Lamar Av. S.
Redenius said early estimates put the damage at about $150,000. The fire is under investigation. □