16-year-old dies after falling from fire escape ladder in Minneapolis

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A teen from Southwest High School in Minneapolis was set to start school on Monday, but a horrible fall from a fire escape ended his life at just 16 years old.

Friends and family said Blake Fannin was compassionate, caring, very social and popular in the uptown area.  Now his family is hoping the fall that led to his death will help other old buildings around the city to make changes.

“He brought people together, that's what he was known for,” his brother said. “His greatest passion was basketball.”

Fannin's brother said he and a friend attempted to climb a fire escape ladder attached to a 101-year-old condo building, one block from his uptown Minneapolis home.

“As he was climbing almost to the fourth story the ladder came detached from the wall and fell backwards, and at that point he fell to the ground,” he said. “His friend was at the bottom and saw the whole thing happen. He attempted to carry my brother back to the house. Very traumatic for him.”

According to the city, inspections have not been required at the building since at least 1997. That's because all seven units are owned and occupied by the owners, and the association is responsible for all upkeep.

A spokesperson for the residents pointed out that Fannin was trespassing -- “They shouldn't have been there, but if anyone attempted to use that ladder that same thing would have happened to them.”

Now the family has started a scholarship to help other young players with his same passion for basketball.  More than $3,000 has already been raised for basketball scholarships in Blake’s name.

A service is schedule Saturday at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis. Click here to donate.