ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A duplex fire in St. Paul Wednesday morning left one woman dead and three others – including two small children -- fighting for their lives.
The St. Paul Fire Department says the blaze started around 9:20 a.m. on the first floor of a duplex on 1035 Arkwright Street North, in the city's Payne-Phalen neighborhood.
Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard says firefighters knocked down the flames in 15 minutes, but not before smoke and fire injured several people. One woman died, marking the first fire fatality in the city in 2017. Three others were hurt, including two children under the age of 3 who were badly burned.
"Very tragic fire," Zaccard said. "Our hearts go out to family and friends of these people."
The three injured victims were brought to Regions Hospital, fire officials said. The names of the victims have yet to be released.
Nicole Shelton, who lives on the duplex's upper floor, said she was able to escape with her children.
"There was a lot of black smoke," she said. "We crawled under the smoke to get out."
Fire officials say the duplex was completely evacuated after the fire was put out. The Red Cross is helping those displaced.
St. Paul officials say the duplex was in good standing with city inspection officials.
The cause of the fire is yet unknown. It remains under investigation.
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