It's been a little over a month since Roger Yarusso died in a fire at his Eagan home, but friends and loved ones gathered to keep his memory alive at a fundraiser over the weekend.
Family and friends who got together at the Cottage Grove Armory to watch a gritty wrestling match say the man everyone knew simply as Roger took part in that activity a lot.
Although weeks have passed since Yarusso's roommate awoke to the crackling of the fire inside their Eagan townhome, the pain of loss is still raw for his loved ones.
"It's just really hard to accept this," Brian Sager told FOX 9 News. "We lived together. We traveled together. We partied together, you know? We were really close."
One of Yarusso's roommates tried to help him escape, but he never came out of the home. He died on his 33rd birthday, but both of his roommates were able to jump to safety.
"On all the days for anybody to pass away, on your own birthday," Sager said. "I can't even think of the words to describe it."
A 10-bell salute marked the beginning of a wrestling match Sager organized in Yarusso's honor as he strove to raise $3,000 at the site where he used to wrestle.
"Putting this together has helped me cope. I feel like at the end of this, I'll have some closure," he said.
Yarusso's brother, Thor, told FOX 9 News he is grateful people are remembering his brother in this way. He added that though those who lived in the home were smokers, it is still unknown what caused the fatal fire.
Yarusso leaves behind three children.