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Fire investigation: Cause of death released but not ID

A preliminary autopsy indicates that the cause of death for the 19-year-old woman who died in an apartment fire in Alexandria Monday was smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide toxicity.

According to a news release from the Alexandria Police Department, toxicology studies are pending and a final report will follow.

The name of the deceased woman continues to be held as the medical examiner's office works to positively identify the woman through forensics.

Early this week, Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels said that he's still waiting to match the autopsy results with dental records and that the investigation is ongoing.

The cause of the fire, which happened at a four-unit apartment building at 410 Fillmore Street on Jan. 15, hasn't been determined.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Red Cross is helping six other adults who were living in the apartment building. Two are recovering from burns and smoke inhalation at Regions Hospital in the Twin Cities.

The Red Cross has connected with the other four fire victims and is helping them with long-term recovery plans, according to Carrie Carlson-Guest, regional communications officer with the Minnesota Red Cross.

It was the second fatal fire in Alexandria in 11 days. The other fire happened on Jan. 5 at the Viking City mobile home park and claimed the lives of Rose Marie Couillard, 59, and "Jimmy" Chandler, Jr., 49.

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. She enjoys running and has participated in nearly 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon distances.

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