St. Paul House Wasn't Inspected before Fire

Updated: 02/20/2014 8:29 AM
Created: 02/20/2014 8:28 AM
By: Jennie Olson

The St. Paul house that caught on fire earlier this week – trapping a young girl downstairs – was supposed to be inspected but never was.

Nine-year-old Nevaeh Sellers was rescued by St. Paul firefighters Monday morning from the home on Maple Street. Nevaeh was sleeping in the basement with her mother when the fire broke out.

St. Paul firefighters arrived and went into the basement to search for the girl. They say the room was filled with black smoke, which made it difficult to see. One firefighter searching with his hands found Nevaeh, and the girl was quickly rushed out of the home.

An official investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing. St. Paul Fire officials say there appeared to be no working smoke detectors in the basement and no code compliant egress window in the room where the girl, her mother and boyfriend were sleeping.

According to the Pioneer Press, a year and a half ago the city found that a previous tenant was using the basement illegally as a sleeping area. The city was supposed to inspect it again but didn’t because it was behind on inspections.

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