150-year-old home heavily damaged in St. Paul fire

The St. Paul Fire Department begins to pack up firetrucks in Saint Paul.
A historic house on Dayton Avenue near the St. Paul Cathedral was damaged in a massive fire on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017 in Saint Paul.
Ellen Schmidt | MPR News

A 150-year-old stone home was damaged by a fire in St. Paul Tuesday afternoon.

About 60 firefighters and 12 trucks and engines responded to the fire, which heavily damaged the inside of the house not far from the Cathedral of St. Paul. A fire department spokesman said there were no injuries reported.

Alida Purmalietis, who said she grew up in the house, said her parents had bought the Dayton Avenue home in 1975.

"They really took it upon themselves to do an excellent job in keeping the integrity of the woodwork and of the structure itself," Purmalietis said. "Never, never doing anything that would be out of character for the age. So that's why it's especially devastating. It's not just a house, it's a piece of history."

Purmalietis said the house had carvings and woodwork inside, which she expects were ruined by the fire, and that there are rental units on the top floor.

St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard said that early in the fire conditions inside the house were too dangerous for firefighters at times.

"Any fire is a tragic loss, this one is especially tragic for what's been lost here," Zaccard said. "Fortunately, no lives have been lost, nobody has been injured and that's what everybody's most grateful for. I'm hopeful and think with a house built like this one it can be rebuilt after this fire."

Two cats died in the fire. Zaccard said firefighters are still working to contain and put out hot spots within the building.

Before you keep reading ...

MPR News is made by Members. Gifts from individuals fuel the programs that you and your neighbors rely on. Donate today to power news, analysis, and community conversations for all.