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Victim of house fire near UND dies

GRAND FORKS — Matthew Heisler, found unconscious in his house near the University of North Dakota in a house fire Sunday, died Tuesday morning in a Minneapolis hospital, according to his family.

“This morning we had to say goodbye to our beloved son,” Jared and Cheryl Heisler said in a news release. “In accordance with his wishes, his organs will be donated so that others can live. We just cannot express how much we will miss Matthew and how the thought of going through the rest of our lives without him is beyond what we can imagine right now.”

Heisler, 21, was pulled from the house by his roommate, Ryan Nelson, also 21, who came home about 2:40 a.m. Sunday to find the house filled with smoke.

Fire officials ruled it an accidental fire caused by food left unattended cooking on top of the electric stove. Smoke detectors were operating at the time firefighters entered the house, said Fire Marshal Brian Geatz. Heisler apparently was alone when the fire started.

Matthew Heisler was airlifted Sunday to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he had been in critical condition.

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