MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Investigators are trying to determine what caused a house fire in Vadnais Heights Thursday afternoon that killed one person.

The fire started just after noon on the 700 block of Berwood Avenue West. Neighbors say the fire spread quickly, and appeared to move from room to room.

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Jackie Moren says a couple bought the home a few years ago.

“I don’t know how it got that bad that fast,” Moren said. “That’s what they’re trying to investigate. How did that darn house … he went to the store, was gone only five minutes or so, but he came back and his whole house was on fire and his girlfriend was in the house.”

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Neighbor Lang Xiong also witnessed the fire.

“The whole street was just blocked off, fire trucks, ambulance,” Xiong said. “At the start of a new year we still have each other, and then you look out the window and you see somebody else who’s lost everything. It really puts you back into perspective.”

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The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office says they hope to know more once they get the medical examiner’s report.

Jennifer Mayerle