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Mike McConnell, who didn't want a photographer to picture his face in this story, has been living off-and-on in his severely fire-damaged St. Paul park home. City building inspectors have deemed the house uninhabitable; Monday the St. Paul Park City Council will discuss beginning a process that could demolish the house.

Holding on to home

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This story is the first in a two-part series. See the Dec. 30 issue of the Bulletin for Part II.

Outside a low-slung house on Summit Avenue in St. Paul Park on a recent Friday, the thermometer tells the story of a frigid December day: zero degrees. At noon.


Inside the home that was gutted by a devastating April fire, burly Mike McConnell stands by a wood-burning stove and stokes the flames with stacks of newspaper kept nearby. It's warmer -- but still not toasty.

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