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Homeowner dies in house fire

Ely Echo - Staff Photo

The Morse-Fall Lake Fire Department battled a structure fire Sunday afternoon where the homeowner perished in the blaze on the 1400 block of Grant McMahan Boulevard.

It was reported to 911 that the sole, elderly homeowner was believed to still be inside. The owner of the home is listed as Carol Lindbeck. 

Fire chief Ted Krueger said he was informed the homeowner was possibly in the bedroom but entry through the front of the home was not an option due to the intensity of the flames.

"When we arrived on scene there was smoke coming from all of the vents and the center of the building was fully involved," said Krueger. "We had water on the fire and we breached an outside wall and sent three people in, but the firefighters hit heavy fire inside and had to retreat." 

After getting the fire under control, firefighters located a deceased victim inside the residence. 

Krueger said the fire is under investigation but that it appeared the origin was in the location of a wood fireplace. 

Water was transported to the fire from the river on Highway 88, located next to the property.

Krueger thanked his mutual aid agencies for their quick response.

"Ely had 16 people there, Babbitt came with six and we had 18," said Krueger.

Also helping with traffic and other issues were the St. Louis County and Lake County sheriff's departments, U.S. Border Patrol, DNR Conservation Officers along with the Ely Area Ambulance Service. 

Victim identification is pending further investigation by the State Fire Marshals Officer, Midwest Medical Examiners Office and the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office. 

The cause of the fire has been determined to be accidental and started near the fireplace inside the residence.  The Midwest Medical Examiner's Office is currently working on gathering medical and dental records to make an identification of the victim.  The name of the victim is being withheld until identification can be made.  


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