Eagan man killed in house fire identified

An Eagan man who died in this townhouse fire was identified as Rodger Allen Yarusso Jr. - Photo by Rick Orndorf

An Eagan man who died in this townhouse fire was identified as Rodger Allen Yarusso Jr. – Photo by Rick Orndorf

An Eagan man who died in a house fire Sunday has been identified.

Police identified the man on Jan. 22 as 33-year-old Rodger Allen Yarusso Jr.

Yarusso died and two others were injured when their four-unit townhome, located at 1527 Aspen Drive near the Yankee Doodle Road and Interstate 35E interchange, caught fire.

The complex was fully engulfed in flames when Eagan police and fire crews arrived just after 6 a.m. Jan. 20.

Officers located two men lying on the ground outside the townhome who were conscious but injured after jumping from a second-story window, Eagan officials said. Both men were transported to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

Yarusso was found dead inside. A Hennepin County coroner determined Yarusso died from smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning. Several pet snakes were also killed in the fire. Yarusso’s pet dog went missing after the incident. Eagan Fire Chief Mike Scott speculated the dog may have died in the blaze and is buried under debris.

Residents of adjacent units were evacuated as Apple Valley and Mendota Heights fire crews assisted the Eagan Fire Department in extinguishing the blaze.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s office.

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