A northern Minnesotan who lived with her fiancé in a building that also housed a shoe repair shop has died from injuries suffered in a fire that may be connected to food she was cooking on the stove.
Wendy L. Vraa, 31, of Grand Rapids, died Friday night while being treated at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, the medical examiner’s office said Monday.
The blaze struck the building in the 500 block of NW 3rd Avenue during the evening of April 11, fire officials said.
Along with Tic Tac Toe Shoe Repair, the building housed two apartments.
No one else was reported to be hurt by the fire, which left the building a total loss, authorities said.
While the circumstances surrounding the blaze have yet to be addressed by authorities, fire officials said they don’t believe there is anything suspicious about how it began.
An online fundraising page set up on behalf of the couple said Vraa suffered “serious burns” in the fire, which occurred while her fiancé, Tanner Fideldy, was at work.
Fideldy said that Vraa had epilepsy and it “was unclear if she had a seizure before the fire.”
He said the fire started in the kitchen and “it seemed like she was cooking something and ran to get her rescue medication. [She] collapsed on the floor” in the doorway leading to the couple’s bedroom and “whatever was on the stove started the fire.”
Their dog survived, but was treated for smoke inhalation, Fideldy said.
“Gino is fine,” he said. “His treatments worked great, and he is getting back to his old self. So at least I still have him.”