Woman displaced by apartment fire counts her blessings

- As she loads up everything she owns after a fire at her apartment complex, Emma Schuller can't help but realize that, for her, the ordeal carries a certain amount of deja vu.

It's the second displacement she's endured, after enduring a house explosion a few years back. 

"I have post-traumatic stress, so of course naturally I'm freaking out," she said. "The nice people who lived here is what I worried about the most."

As the questions raced through her mind, she was told that one of her neighbors at 1500 Park Avenue, Royce James, didn't make it out in time.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner confirmed Sunday that the 59-year-old died of multiple blunt force and thermal injuries after jumping from a third-story window from the blaze.

"I didn't know him very well--but the interactions I did have, he held the door open for me, asked, 'Hey, how you doing?'" she said. "He seemed like a very genuine, sweet guy."

James girlfriend, Vicki Ness, remains in the hospital in critical condition after jumping from the same window. At least 29 others were displaced by the fire.

It's been a whirlwind for Schuller, but amid her grief she's somehow managed to find the silver lining and start over--yet again.

It helps that Fedderson Holdings, the company that owns the apartment building, spent all day Sunday helping residents move, even providing vehicles and another building for them to live in. Fedderson is even. honoring the rental prices listed at the building.

"I'm just so grateful to the universe that I can say I've made it out alive from two fires," she said. "I feel so horrible that someone can't say the same."

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in – includes advertiser stories