A St. Cloud man died Monday after trying to douse a brush fire at a lakeside cabin in central Minnesota.
Relatives identified the man as 76-year-old Heinrich Wurdak, a longtime St. Cloud restaurant owner.
The fire broke out Sunday at the home just east of Pauley Lake in Birchdale Township northeast of Sauk Centre, said Sauk Centre Fire Chief Steve Moritz, who responded to the scene.
Moritz said the man was burned over more than 90% of his body.
Wurdak died just after midnight Monday of his burns, said his son, Karl Wurdak, of Owatonna.
For 20 years, Wurdak owned Michael's Restaurant in St. Cloud, known for its Austrian fare. The cuisine was a nod to Wurdak's heritage, his son said.
"He was the best of everything that you could imagine in a person," he said.
Moritz said the victim tried to douse the flames, which spread as he was burning something in a fire pit.
The blaze covered 4 to 5 acres but was easily contained, the fire chief added.
HANNAH COVINGTON and Paul Walsh