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Actor Who Died In House Fire Remembered As Hero

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(credit: CBS) Reg Chapman
Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Family and friends gathered Saturday to celebrate the life of a 25-year-old man who died while saving his friends.

Adam Briesmeister’s home, which he shared with friends, caught fire early Wednesday morning. He died after breathing in too much smoke while saving the lives of his roommates.

Ana Witek, a friend of Briesmeister’s, attended Saturday’s gathering at Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis. She says Briesmeister had an infectious smile.

“He just oozed joy,” she said.

Briesmeister was an actor, an activist and a substitute teacher; and he was loved by many. Witek knew Briesmeister through acting. Others at the gathering were Briesmeister’s students or fellow activist. And although their stories about him were different, their experience was the same.

“It’s difficult to find someone who was involved in every aspect of his life, because there were so many things that he was involved in,” Witek said.

Briesmeister’s father, Wayne Briesemeister, said he is most proud of his son’s consistent integrity.

“He was kind and gentle and caring to everyone that he touched,” Wayne Briesemeister said.

Briesemeister’s caring for others reached its final and most selfless level Wednesday morning, when his house went up in flames.

“Some people have written me and said: You couldn’t script a better ending for an actor’s life,” Wayne Briesemeister said.

Wayne Briesemeister said he is touched by the outpouring of support.

“We’ll get over the tragedy,” he said. “We won’t get over the heroism.”

Briesemeister was from Wisconsin, but had lived in Minneapolis for the past three years.

Investigators are still trying to figure out what started the fire.

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