ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Three young sons who lived with their father in a St. Paul apartment were spending the night elsewhere when a fire broke out and killed him.

Twenty-nine-year-old Justin Slanina died last weekend while his boys, ages 6, 7 and 8, were staying with their mother. The fiancee of Slanina's uncle, Michelle Berg ,says they are thankful the boys are safe.

Reports say neighbors told firefighters when they arrived at the apartment early Saturday that the three boys could be in the apartment with their dad.

Firefighters found Slanina in their initial search, but no one else in secondary searches.