MINNEAPOLIS -- The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office says one of the six victims in Friday's fire died of smoke inhalation.
43-year-old Ann Marie Gervais of Minneapolis died in the back on an ambulance outside the building. The medical examiner says the "cause of death is inhalation of products of combustion (smoke inhalation)." The office has not released details about the other five people killed.
Family friend Rosie Bell says Ann Gervais' son Andrew Gervais, and his three children, twins Austin and Aliciah Gervais and Colten Gervais were killed. Bell says they were staying with her friend, McMahon's bartender Ryan Richner, who was killed as well. Richner lived in an apartment above McMahon's Pub.
Firefighters arrived shortly after 6 a.m. to find heavy flames and smoke pouring from the building, where the roof eventually collapsed, authorities said. The blaze began in one of six second-floor apartments, but the cause hadn't been determined Friday evening, said Assistant Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel.
Champagne Gervais, 25, said her brother Andrew's car remained in the pub's parking lot Friday.
"They were all beautiful people," she said before breaking down sobbing as she watched crews sift through the rubble in drizzling rain Friday afternoon.
Richner's mother said late Friday that she spoke with the medical examiner's office and also believed her son was among those who died.
"It's not confirmed, but it's pretty much confirmed. We know," Denise Schmidt said during a phone interview from Long Prairie, about 100 miles north of Minneapolis.
"Everybody loved him. He was always happy and he was always the life the party," she said of her son, her voice breaking. "A lot of people are going to miss him."
Authorities found eight violations during a fire code inspection March 15 on the commercial part of the building. Among them, the pub's fire alarm system hadn't been tested in more than a year and there weren't enough fire extinguishers, said Minneapolis Fire Marshal Bryan Tyner.
The owners had until March 30 to fix the violations. Tyner said his office hadn't yet gone back to see if changes had been made. The residential portion of the building was due for an inspection, he said.
The Twin Cities chapter of the American Red Cross was helping eight adults and five children displaced by the fire, said spokeswoman Carrie Carlson. She said the group would put them up in a hotel for the weekend, help them replace medications and provide food and clothing.
She said two psychologists were at the scene to help.
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