UPDATED: Minnetonka couple dies in house fire
A house fire late Friday night in Minnetonka claimed the lives of the married couple who resided in the home, 19 Westwood Road.
Brian Neil Humphrey, 78, and his wife, Mary Sandra Humphrey, 76, were officially identified Sunday afternoon by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office.
The time of death was set at 12:20 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, and the Medical Examiner confirmed the cause of death for both was injuries sustained as a result of the fire.
At 10:39 p.m. Friday night, Minnetonka police and fire department were dispatched to a report of a structure fire on Westwood Road. When officers arrived on the scene, the house had already been engulfed in flames, according to Minnetonka police officials.
After the fire was extinguished, the bodies of the Humphreys were located inside the home and later were released into the custody of the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office.
The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Minnetonka Police Depart-ment, in cooperation with the state fire marshal.
“We’re not sure how it happened,” said Minnetonka Police Capt. Scott Boerboom.
At this point in the investigation, the cause of the fire is believed to be accidental.
“We’re not expecting arson or anything like that,” Boerboom said.
Firefighters from Eden Prairie, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Plymouth and St. Louis Park responded and assisted with the fire.
Brian Humphrey was heavily involved in the Intercongregation Communities Association Food Shelf in Minnetonka, said ICA Executive Director Cathy Maes.
“He was a great volunteer for over 10 years,” she said.
Brian Humphrey was a congregation partner with ICA, working to benefit the Oak Knoll Lutheran Church in Minnetonka. He organized food drives for the homeless and assisted ICA during its quarterly meetings among his many community service activities.
“There was never a day that he didn’t care about helping people with need and helping our organization move forward,” Maes said.
Sandra Humphrey helped Brian run the food drives and was a constant presence at ICA community events, Maes said.
“They were continual givers,” recalled Maes. “They always gave.”
Oak Knoll Lutheran Senior Pastor Jay Rudi released a statement regarding the Humphrey’s untimely passing.
“Brian and Sandy Humphrey were beloved members of our congregation who dedicated their lives to helping the ‘least of these’ – the people in this community who needed it most,” Rudi said. “They understood this as their calling as Christians and served others with energy and joy. Oak Knoll Lutheran Church and the Minnetonka community have suffered a great loss with their passing. We are comforted to know they are now in the arms of Jesus.”
Executive Editor Peggy Bakken contributed to this report.