Fatal Minneapolis fire: Domestic abuse concerns

Minneapolis fire: Domestic abuse concerns

MINNEAPOLIS - A woman critically injured Thursday morning in a fire has died. 

Minneapolis Police believe the fire was set during a domestic situation. The woman was found severely burned outside the home on the 2900 block of Taylor Street Northeast around 6:30 a.m. When crews arrived, first responders found flames jumping from windows on the second floor.

A man suspected of starting the fire was located on the 900 block of 29th Avenue Northeast, suffering from burns to his hands was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center, and is in critical condition.

Authorities say he and the woman had a previous relationship. Court records show the woman had an order of protection against him that expired in March. Public court records also show he has an extensive criminal history.

 Neighbors tell KARE 11 the woman had told others she was in an abusive relationship.

“I know she kept thinking he was going to get better, she did tell me that,” said Julie Crawford, her next-door neighbor.  “I worried a lot about my neighbor, and anybody who has struggles, there is help. There is help if you ask for it.”

Neighbor Dawn Aherns tells KARE 11 that she awoke to the voice of a woman screaming for help. She found the victim in the front yard. Aherns says the victim told her the fire was set and named the person responsible.

“I held her hand to keep her calm and waited for emergency vehicles and she told me who did it,” said Ahrens. “There were problems here all the time.”

She also said the woman was bleeding badly, her hair was singed, and she was burned over her entire body.

Minneapolis Police spokesman Sgt. Corey Schmidt confirms that the fire was purposely set. Schmidt added that the man has reportedly made threats to burn down the house in the past.   

 “In the past two months, we had a similar incident on the South Side,” said Officer Corey Schmidt, Minneapolis Police spokesperson. “We always want victims to reach out to police to file a report or reaching out to domestic violence advocates to get out of a dangerous situation.”

Minneapolis Police say the man is expected to survive. Identities have not yet been released.

“She is in my prayers and my heart goes out to her family” said Crawford.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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