Man Found Dead in St. Paul House Fire

Posted at: 07/09/2013 6:04 AM
Updated at: 07/09/2013 4:34 PM
By: Jennie Olson

A man is dead after getting trapped inside his burning home.

Rescue crews say they found the man just feet inside the side door, surrounded by personal belongings. The house is on Nebraska and Hamline Avenues in St. Paul.

Neighbors identified the man as 68-year-old Charlie Nightingale.

Fire crews say they had a difficult time getting access to the inside of the house. Typically they would have fought the fire from both the outside and inside of the house, but the St. Paul fire chief says there were so many personal belongings inside the home that crews couldn’t move through the house. Instead, they had to fight the fire by spraying water on the exterior.

“This house had extensive personal belongings,” St. Paul Fire Chief Tim Butler said. “It’s really difficult in this case to even get access to the house. We had to enlarge some of the doorways and windows with our power saws from the outside.”

To make sure all of the hot spots are out, crews will now have to remove all of those personal belongings that were piled up inside. They were using a sledgehammer to pull out piles of paper and books through the windows.

Neighbors believe Nightingale lived alone.