A St. Paul couple put their lives at risk over the weekend to save their flat-screen television from a fire in their apartment, authorities said Monday.

The failed effort Sunday afternoon in the six-unit building in the 600 block of N. Chatsworth Street landed the man and woman, both in their 40s, in Regions Hospital, both suffering from smoke inhalation, according to fire officials.

Firefighters saw the man “disconnecting the wires to his flat-screen while the room was filling with smoke,” said St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard. “They forced them both to the door to get them to safety.”

Zaccard said there’s no possession worth dying for.

“Get out and then call 911,” he said. “There’s no reason to risk your life like that.” The flames in the basement unit of the building northeast of Lexington Parkway and University Avenue were quickly doused. The fire has been blamed on careless smoking, Zaccard said.

Paul Walsh