Victim dies days after St. Paul high-rise fire

A person has died days after a fire broke out at a St. Paul high-rise building two weekends ago, marking the city's seventh fire death of 2024.

Calls came in on the morning of Sunday, Feb. 18 for the fire on the eighth floor of the building along University Avenue in the area of Marion Street.

Crews were told a resident was stuck inside the apartment unit. When firefighters were able to enter the unit, they found the victim and a small fire that had been extinguished by sprinklers.

"Investigation of the fire found smoking to be the cause of the fire," officials said Thursday. "Investigators found numerous oxygen cylinders for medical use along with evidence that the victim had been smoking while using oxygen."

Thursday, the St. Paul Fire Department said they had been notified that the victim had died from their injuries.

The death marks an unnerving record for the city, tying its 30-year high for most fire deaths in a year in just two months of 2024.

Typically, firefighters say the city averages only two or three fire fatalities in a given year.