Ely man dies working on tree after storm

An Ely man died while working on a downed tree in Eagles Nest Township.
Hans Smith, 55, died while working on a tree that had fallen on a house near Eagles Nest Lake the evening of the storm on Sept. 17.
According to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, deputies were dispatched to a medical due to a fall at the above residence. Smith had been on the roof removing a downed tree for the property owner and lost his footing falling approximately 20 feet from the roof and onto a propane tank on the ground.
Smith was unconscious and first responders on scene attempted life saving efforts. Smith died at the scene due to his injuries. The cause and nature of the incident appears to be accidental. No foul play is suspected.
Smith owned Beartooth Tree Service and specialized in safely removing problem trees.
Smith is survived Rowan, Bryce, Lexi and Jacob; his wife Traci; his brother Erik and his dad Paul from Ely. More details and a memorial date and time will be announced later.
The storm dumped over two inches of rain in Ely, flooding the Industrial Building at the school and temporarily closing Highway 169 when three trees fell across the road near Wolf Lake.