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Woman Dead, Husband Critical in Meadowlands House Fire

Updated: 01/17/2014 1:41 AM
Created: 01/16/2014 9:42 AM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

An early morning house fire in Meadowlands killed a woman and left her husband struggling in a Duluth hospital on Thursday.

The St. Louis County Sheriff Department said Meadowlands firefighters were able to pull both victims from the burning home, but Karen Gosch , 72, later died at Essential St. Mary's, likely from smoke inhalation. Her husband John Stossel, 75, was listed in critical condition Thursday afternoon. 

Stossel was able to call 911, but Sergeant Wade Rasch said the blaze had overtaken the home by the time authorities arrived. 

“When our deputies arrived in Meadowlands the house as fully engulfed in flames,” Rasch said. 

Rasch said the couple was sleeping when the fire began near the kitchen of their home. The cause of the fire was still unknown on Thursday. 

“So the smoke and the fire appeared to be coming from the corner of the residence where the kitchen area is, and it's also my understanding that the electrical service to the home was near that kitchen area,” Rasch said. 

Smoke detectors did awake the couple, but Rasch said heavy smoke blocked their escape. Stossel was able to break a window for some fresh air. 

“He was able to get some fresh air in that way until the fire department was able to arrive make that opening bigger and get them out,” Rasch said. 

A state fire marshal was on the scene, but had just began his investigation. The marshal said more details should be released in a few days.

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