Frost man dies in house fire
Faribault County authorities say a 58-year-old Frost man died in a fire at his home Wednesday night.
Ronald Clarence Espeland died at the scene, according to Sheriff Mike Gormley.
At 7:51 p.m. the county dispatcher received a report of a fire at 215 West First St.
When authorities arrived, flames were coming out of the bedroom window on the east side of the house.
Members of the Frost Fire Department responded and were assisted by firefighters from Bricelyn and Blue Earth.
“They had the fire under control by the time we got there,” Gormley says of the Frost firefighters.
In all, about 25 firefighters were at the scene.
The State Fire Marshal’s office was called to help determine how the blaze started.
Terry Campbell, an investigator with the sheriff’s department, says the cause was accidental and electrical.
“A series of power cords were connected together. And, there were no working smoke detectors,” says Gormley.
Authorities say the fire broke out in the bedroom of the one-level house where Espeland died.
An extension cord plugged into a window air conditioner, officials add, shorted out and started the fire.
Gormley says Espeland likely was a victim of smoke inhalation, but an autopsy was conducted Thursday.
“We want to make sure and confirm the cause of his death,” adds Gormley.
There were no dollar-loss estimates, but officials say the bedroom was destroyed and other areas of the house sustained heat and smoke damage.