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Oakdale Fire Kills Stillwater Elementary Teacher

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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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OAKDALE, Minn. (WCCO) –- Authorities say a 65-year-old teacher from the Stillwater School District is dead after fire took over her Oakdale town home Tuesday morning.

Crews responded to a report of a fire at about 5 a.m. Tuesday on the 7000 block of 19th Street, and found the body of Catherine Weschcke inside the home.

Weschcke taught in the Stillwater School District at Rutherford Elementary School for years, but had been on leave for the year. She was a math interventionist who taught fifth and sixth grade.

“She had a big heart for the kids,” former principal Stephen Gorde said. “She was very dedicated and a real hard worker.”

No other injuries were reported and the woman was the only person inside the home at the time of the fire. Authorities said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

“As we were getting the kids out and putting them in the truck, we could see the smoke coming out of the window of her townhouse so they focused their attention over there,” said neighbor Justin Mankowski.

Mankowski said he didn’t know the victim and only saw her a couple times in his 10 years living there.

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