Man Found in House Fire Died from Self-Inflicted Gunshot

Updated: 04/18/2014 5:26 PM
Created: 04/18/2014 3:02 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Authorities say the man found dead in a house fire near Dover Wednesday died from a self-inflicted gunshot.

The Olmsted County Medical Examiner has identified the man as 57-year-old Donald Helgerson.

Olmsted County deputies found an empty case for a long gun inside a metal building near where the fire occurred. Deputies were worried about a possible threat and activated the Emergency Response Unit to secure the area.

When authorities located Helgerson's body inside the home, they also found a shotgun next to him. At that point the ERU was released from the scene. 

As for how the fire started, officials say the evidence is still being analyzed.

Helgerson was married with grown children and was a former Rochester firefighter. His wife also lived in the home, but was not there when the fire started.

Photo: ABC 6 News