The 89-year-old victim called for help early this morning, but when firefighters arrived minutes later they found him unconscious.
An 89-year-old Minneapolis man died early Wednesday when a fire swept through his house on the city's south side. He was the city's fifth fire-related fatality of the year.
Authorities identified him as John Legierski, who lived with his adult son in the single-story house in the 4100 block of Portland Avenue S.
According to authorities, Legierski called 911 around 1:20 a.m. to report the fire. He was talking with dispatchers when fire crews were sent to the scene.
Crews arrived within two minutes but found Legierski lying unresponsive near the front door. He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, said Sean McKenna of the Minneapolis Police Department's arson squad.
Careless smoking might have led to the fire, which originated on a three-season porch at the rear of the house. The son had seen his father smoking a cigar on the porch about three hours before the fire broke out, McKenna said.
Legierski's son was not home when the blaze broke out, McKenna said.