MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 25-year-old Minneapolis man who helped his roommates escape a raging house fire — was himself killed in that blaze.

Fire crews said he was killed and another critically injured in a fire at a home in south Minneapolis early Wednesday morning.

The fire broke out at a home on the 3500 block of Harriet Avenue South. Neighbors noticed the flames and called fire crews. They also reportedly tried to throw rocks at the building’s windows to wake up the residents inside.

The Minneapolis fire chief confirmed that one man was found dead in the home, and a woman was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in critical condition for smoke inhalation. She has been identified as 27-year-old Sadie Norlin.

Two people had to be rescued from the second floor of the house by ladder — one man and one woman.

In all, five people lived in the house, all of them in their 20s. Crews said one of the residents was not home at the time of the fire.

Neighbors said that all the home’s residents were college students or college-aged.

Observers noted the flames were visible on the front porch of the building, which is where the fire began, according to the fire chief.

A pet cat was also found deceased.

The Red Cross is now assisting the three occupants of the home.

The Minneapolis Arson Unit said the origin of the fire was the front enclosed porch. The fire’s cause, however, is undetermined — meaning that the cause cannot be proven to an acceptable level of certainty.

Comments (10)
  1. Jim says:

    sad loss, but did you really need to mention the stupid cat that died? I think the loss of human life far outweighs that of a cat, my thoughts are to the family in their time of need

    1. Patrick says:

      Way to go out of your way to diminish the loss of any life. What made you such a heartless creep?

  2. Zelda says:

    Why is the cat “stupid”? How do you know that it wasn’t very dear to the owner? A brief mention of a pet does NOT necessarily mean that the loss of human life is outweighed.

  3. Andrea says:

    What is stupid is that you are acutally debating whether or not the cat should be mentioned – when Sadie – an amazing person – sits in critical condition & her roommate is no longer with us. My love to you Sadie – I look forward to talking to you soon!

    1. Yuri Nator says:

      If you knew Sadie, you’d know that Sadie was very close to her cats. I remember hanging out with her one night and all she could talk about were her cats. Anyway, I’m glad that I visited her the other night. I hope her roomate’s resting in peace. From what I heard about him, he was a good man. I hope Sadie gets better!

      1. Andrea says:

        I visited with Sadie last night – well as much as you can visit with someone who is in her condition – She is an amazing & beautiful person & I am heartsick over the suffering that she (and her family) are going through right now. I am so looking forward to seeing her smile & hearing her infectious laugh again soon.

  4. Albatross says:

    Please cease your bickering out of respect for the heroic Mr. Briesemeister who gave his life to save his friends. A man can show no greater love.

    This is one of the houses raided in advance of the 2008 Republican National Convention, and the fire started out on the porch, which is not where fires are wont to begin. These facts point in a very unpleasant direction, and I certainly hope the investigation is thorough and the results clear and public.

  5. helpful says:

    anyone that would like to help out, there is a paypal account set up for donations to go to Sadie, and the rest of her housemates. 3500harrietfund@gmail.com Every little bit helps! Thank you!!!

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