By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Instead of planning their wedding, Ruth Berg’s fiancé says he is now planning for her funeral.

Mark Burrington lives near the school. He felt his house shake when the building exploded. At first, he didn’t think much of it but then realized it came from the school where Ruth was working.

“I started running and I couldn’t tell for sure but when I got by the fence I knew right away it was Ruth’s area. I knew it,” Burrington said.

As he ran toward a burning school, he feared the worst but was hoping that somehow, some way, Berg had survived the blast.

“I ran up to Emily and I asked her if she knew where Ruth was and if anybody knew where Ruth was and she said she didn’t know, you know,” Burrington said.

Later, he got the news he feared; his fiancé had died in the explosion. They had talked just minutes before about where they were going for lunch.

“We said we’d figure out and that we loved each other and we hung up. Then boom a short time later,” Burrington said.

The couple were planning an October wedding in Colorado and had just begun sending out wedding invitations. Burrington says he and Berg had crushes on each other in third grade. They reconnected a few years ago and fell in love.

“We just naturally assumed we’d get old and die together you know? We really did. It’s just sinking in that she isn’t coming home, you know,” Burrington said.

He said sleep has been hard to come by and everything in their house reminds him of Berg. He takes some solace in knowing she died with John Carlson, someone who was also beloved at Minnehaha.

“I met John several times. If she were to go with anyone in that school that’s who I’d ask for. Because she loved John and John loved her. He went and saw her as much as he could,” Burrington said.

He told WCCO that he has talked with the NTSB as they investigate the cause of the blast. He says he will work with the school to plan Berg’s funeral for some time next week.

Berg’s family has set up this GoFundMe page for her memorial fund.


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