Man who died in north Minneapolis house fire remembered as nice, respectful and hardworking

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A man who turned his life around after hardship died in a house fire in north Minneapolis Tuesday.

The fire broke out just before 11 p.m. Tuesday near the intersection of 26th and Knox avenues. Two other men were able to get out of the home.

Ronnika Smith, family friend, said, "It really, really hurts because it was my mama’s closest friend."

Smith gave 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS a photo of their family friend, and said they’ll deeply miss the man they called "TJ."

"TJ was a family friend… He was nice, he was very respectful… He likes to work a lot… He loves family and stuff, he’s very nice," she said.

1 dead, 2 rescued in north Minneapolis house fire

Authorities said it appeared he died in a fire that started in his room– a room that’s part of a home that’s been a house of service.

William Milligan, owner of the house that caught fire and Pastor of The House of Restoration church, said, "Mr. Joseph Tramund had rented a room from us. I met him about a year ago. He came here from Louisiana to make some changes to his life and he did a very good job, and we are going to miss him… It does hurt, it is sad… Another resident called me and told me that the place was on fire."

He said this home is part of the church’s ministry work and for about 15 years it has housed people who’ve come out of treatment or who don’t have homes.

"He lost a son a couple of years ago. And so he was going through some things and he really did a good job," Milligan said.

Milligan added he plans to get renovations underway so this home, through the church’s ministry, can continue helping people.