MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The fiancé of a woman killed Wednesday in a gas explosion at a Minneapolis school says his betrothed was friendly with the other victim who died, a janitor known for giving out ice cream.
Mark Burrington was slated to be married in October to 47-year-old Ruth Berg, the longtime receptionist at Minnehaha Academy in south Minneapolis. Berg had worked at the school for 17 years before Wednesday morning’s explosion gutted the campus’s Upper School, causing a fire and partial building collapse.
Burrington, who lives near the school, heard the blast and rushed to the scene. He waited most of the day for news of his wife-to-be. In the afternoon, authorities informed him of Berg’s death.
Later Wednesday, crews recovered the body of John Carlson, an 82-year-old custodian. Carlson had attended the century-old Christian school, as did his children. In a Facebook post, the school described him as “Minnehaha’s biggest cheerleader.”
Carlson was a friend to Berg, Burrington wrote in a Facebook post Thursday morning. He said that of all the people at the school, she talked about him the most.
“John would bring her Dilly bars and just stop by to chat when he had time,” Burrington wrote. “I get some comfort knowing he is with her.”
The explosion sent nine people to the hospital. As of Thursday morning, Bryan Duffey, the school’s assistant soccer coach, remains in critical condition.
Two other adults also remain hospitalized. No children were hurt in the blast.
— Kate Raddatz (@RaddReport) August 3, 2017