25-Year-Old Man Dies after Candle Sparks St. Paul House Fire

Updated: 04/02/2014 10:21 AM
Created: 03/30/2014 8:04 AM

A 25-year-old man has died after firefighters pulled him from a house in St. Paul that had caught on fire from an unattended candle Sunday morning, according to city fire officials.

The fire broke out around 6 a.m. at 1410 Van Buren Avenue. Fire officials said six of the college-age adults escaped the home, with one of them going to the hospital due to minor smoke inhalation.

"I was sleeping on the first floor and someone ran downstairs yelling fire, and telling everyone to get out, and so I woke up and grabbed my backpack and got out," said Michael Fritzkapps, who slept at the house.

The flames engulfed the second floor, as people jumped out of windows and off the porch.

But one of Fritzkapps' friends was still inside. St. Paul firefighters pulled Dan Trabant from the flames. Trabant was taken away on a stretcher to Regions Hospital.

"The patient was unconscious and had been suffering from severe smoke inhalation," said St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard.

Trabant died several hours later from his injures, officials said.

According to St. Paul firefighters, the fire started with an unattended candle in the second floor bathroom. The heat from the flames was so intense it melted the siding of the next-door neighbor's house.

The house around 9 a.m. after the fire had been put out.
Photo: Ron Peterson
The scene where the St. Paul house fire took place just before 6 a.m. on Sunday.
Photo: KSTP/File

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