A residential fire in south Minneapolis early Sunday killed a 65-year-old man who lived there alone.
The predawn blaze in the single-family house broke out about 4:35 a.m. in the 2900 block of 40th Avenue S., according to the Fire Department.
The man who died, identified by his daughter as Joe Seely, was found on the second floor. That's where "heavy fire … had burned through the roof," said Assistant Chief Bryan Tyner.
This is the city's first fire fatality of the year, Tyner said. No one else was in the home when the fire began.
One firefighter fell in the slippery conditions and was hurt, but his injuries are not believed to be serious, Tyner said. The firefighter was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
The fire was deemed under control by 5:30 a.m., Tyner added. The circumstances leading up to the blaze have not been addressed by fire officials.
One of Seely's three adult children, Margot Welshinger, said her father moved into the house about 20 years ago.
"He had a real zest for life," Welshinger said. "He loved his friends and his family."
Welshinger said her father, who was retired, socialized for many years with others who hung out on the West Bank at the Viking Bar and elsewhere.
The smell of wet and burned wood was evident for hours after the fire was out at the property, and the scene reflected the chaos that follows an early-morning emergency call.
A crutch was propped up against a short shrub near the front window, and sleeves from vinyl records were on the ground out front. Seely was a music lover, Welshinger said.
Pieces of pink insulation were stuck on another shrub. Clothing and an extension cord spilled out of a second-story window. The neighbors' porch and front yard were peppered with burned debris.