ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Authorities said a 68-year-old man is dead after his home caught fire in St. Paul Tuesday morning.

Fire crews responded to the 1400 block of Hamline Avenue North at about 2:15 a.m. on a report of a fire. When authorities arrived, they couldn’t get inside to battle the blaze because of items that were piled up against the front doors of the home.

“We couldn’t get inside the house because it was literally filled floor-to-ceiling with stuff in the front in the back on the sides. Some people call it hoarding,” said St. Paul Fire Chief Steve Zaccard.

Crews found the fire on the south side of the home and officials said it appears to have started in the basement before it spreading to the first and second floors of the home. Firefighters actually had to cut holes in the walls of the residence to get inside, and when they did, they found the body of a man inside. Authorities said they don’t believe anyone else was inside at the time of the fire.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Chris Simon Reports

Fire crews are expected to be at the scene for at least a few more hours Tuesday morning putting out hot spots and said there is a concern that the lower floors of the home will collapse.

Authorities are still investigating what caused the fire, but said it doesn’t appear to be suspicious.


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