Fire at Stasny's Market in St. Paul claims butcher's life

- An employee at a St. Paul food market was found dead in the basement after a fire burned through the building early Thursday morning. The fire broke out around 1:30 a.m. at Stasny’s Food Market at 1053 Western Avenue North. St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard said the market is known for its popular meat counter.

“It’s a neighborhood staple,” Zaccard said.

Stasny’s owners identified him as their employee, and heartbroken friends identified him as beloved butcher Stu Gerr.

Apartment residents above the market reported the fire, and crews found the man in the basement where the fire had spread. It's unclear why he was in the basement. The first floor of the building also collapsed in the blaze, Zaccard said.

The market was closed when the fire broke out but investigators are working to determine what started it.

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