The man who died in a St. Paul house fire over the weekend left behind three young sons, according to one of several people who are mourning his death.

Justin M. Slanina, 29, died from injuries suffered in the blaze in his fourplex early Saturday in the 400 block of Front Avenue, said a woman who has started an online fundraiser to help survivors covers his funeral expenses.

Michelle Berg said the boys lost not only their father in the fire but most of their possessions as well.

Slanina was the only person in the home when the blaze broke out, according to fire officials.

A second fundraising campaign online, this one started by a relative, explained that the boys — ages 6, 7, and 8 — were staying overnight at their mother's home when the fire began.

A preliminary investigation indicates the upper-level fire was accidental in nature and may have been caused by smoking material, said Assistant Fire Chief Roy Mokosso.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482