The mother of the victim who died in a house fire in Transcona Sunday said her son was a great person who had faced personal challenges recently.
Daphne Nixon confirmed to CTV News that her son, Keith Zilinsky, 40, was the victim of the fatal fire.
"People on Facebook that are texting me that are his friends that I'd never heard of before said that he was always constantly giving advice on how to fix things and do things and he was always willing to help them," said Nixon.
She said she remembers him being a "Mr. know it all" as a kid, and even at the age of two or three would follow his dad around the house with his tools and tool belt and would try to fix things.
"He was about two and a half when we had to put him in his own bed because he took his crib apart, and I couldn't put it back together," said Nixon. "We figured if he's doing this, then no more crib for him."
She added he was a smart kid who would get "excellent marks" in school, was always into computers and was mechanically inclined.
Nixon said he had been struggling recently with alcohol addiction and despite him trying to get help, it wasn't working.
"He tried two different programs AA, AFM."
She added he couldn't afford other programs and that he was trying to claim bankruptcy.
Zilinsky had two daughters and a girlfriend, according to Nixon. She said the whole family is taking the news extremely hard and his death has led to a lot of unanswerable questions.
"What if my husband stopped in on the way home from work?" she said.
"People like his girlfriend who left at two o'clock in the afternoon, 2:30 p.m., she's feeling guilty. What if I would have stayed? What could we have done differently? Was there something that we could have done that we did not know about?"
Nixon said, while fighting back tears, that her son was too young to die.
The fire happened in the 500 block of Grassie Boulevard around 7:45 p.m. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.