Man arrested after fatal apartment fire in south Minneapolis

- The smell of charred wood still lingers in the air at 1500 Park Avenue in Minneapolis.

It's all that remains of the apartment building where 59-year-old-Royce James lived. He died of injuries sustained by jumping from a third-story window during the fire, which authorities believe may have been set purposefully.

"It was three minutes of horrible," said Jenna Harper, who lives nearby and jumped in to help residents of the building to safety Friday evening. "I'm literally sprinting around with the paramedics and firefighters. Just because you don't have a degree in this or you weren't trying to do it, doesn't mean you can't help people."

Family members identified James and his girlfriend, Vicki Ness, who also jumped from the same window and was sent to the hospital with critical injuries. Several others were treated for smoke inhalation and 30 people who lived in the building remain uprooted due to the blaze.

Police arrested a man in connection with the incident Friday night, booking 30-year-old Marcus Dewayne Shanks into Hennepin County Jail on probable cause murder charges.

One firefighter received a minor injury while battling the blaze, but was able to return to putting out the fire.

According to officials, the fire was on the third floor of the apartment building. Firefighters rescued multiple people by ladder from windows and the fire escape. Eighteen of the 22 units in the building were occupied at the time.

This is the ninth fire fatality in Minneapolis so far this year.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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