Two men were injured after the leapt from a second-story window to escape a fire at their townhouse in Eagan.
EAGAN, Minn. (KMSP) -
One person is dead and two others had to jump to safety after a fire in a four-unit townhouse in Eagan, Minn.
Police say the fire was reported at about 6:14 a.m. on Sunday morning at 1527 Aspen Drive. Andy Henderson woke up to screams coming from next door.
"When I looked outside it was an inferno...it was just flames," Henderson said.
Emergency responders were quick to arrive, but Eagan Fire Chief Mike Scott admits frigid temperatures slowed them down.
"Probably one of the worst days, never a good day for a fire..but this is one of the worst days with this cold weather makes our job that much harder," Chief Scott said.
In the daylight, family members tried to piece together the unthinkable. Jeff Haggerty said his son Matthew Haggerty owns the townhome and woke up to the sound of crackling early Sunday morning.
"He tried to get everyone out and he could hear everyone moving around," Haggerty said. "He jumped out his bedroom there and he broke his foot."
Haggerty said his son tried to put the fire out which seemed to have started in the living room but the flames were already too much. He said all three roommates living in the house were smokers, but no word from investigators about the official cause of the fire.
Matthew's 60-year-old uncle Al also jumped to safety from his own second floor bedroom window and suffered a head injury. Matthew tried to get a ladder to his the window where his longtime friend Roger Yarusso was sleeping, but he never came out.
"Last night we were here celebrating his birthday," said Roger's brother Thor Yarusso. "All he kept talking about was how happy he was and Matt was changing his life for him."
Recently out of work, Thor says Roger was leaning on friends while he bounced back financially. The party celebrating his 33rd birthday had ended just hours before anyone noticed the fire.
"Probably about six people over who we are really close with," Thor said. "We were all joking and I have a video of Matt and him horsing around and that was the last time I see my brother."
Roger Yarusso died on his 33rd birthday and leaves behind three young children.
"It doesn't matter if you were in a bad mood or not he could always make you laugh smile if I could have him back I would," Thor said. "He's my best friend and I miss him already."