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Tonya Papanikolas reporting A 26-year-old man died in a house fire this morning in South Ogden. Investigators haven't determined a cause of the fire yet, but say it started in the basement.
Neighbors across the street say they woke up around 3:30 in the morning, and smelled something burning. They looked around and didn't see anything.
Then a little before 8:00, they went outside again. This time, they saw smoke coming out of the home near 745 E. Nancy Dr. in South Ogden.
26-year-old Michael West was inside his parents' home where he's been living, when a fire started in the basement.
Chief David Powers, South Ogden Fire Dept: “A neighbor from across the street saw smoke coming from the roof vents and chimney, and thought that was kind of odd, especially in the summertime."
That neighbor called 911. When police and fire crews arrived, the house was filled with smoke.
Chief David Powers: They went in and did a search and rescue. Could tell that the fire, based on the heat, was in the basement."
Lt. Darin Parke, South Ogden Police: “There is extensive smoke damage, but the actual fire itself was contained to one room."
As four crews worked to put out the basement flames, they found West.
Carol Warner, Neighbor: Still makes me sick, finding out it's the boy just made it worse. I don't know why.. I guess cause he's so young."
West's parents were out of town. His father is a part-time firefighter with the city... which made the call very personal to those responding.
Chief David Powers: “Very good guy, and it's very hard to see someone you know like that go through that type of pain."
Carol Warner: “Oh, my heart goes out to them. I can't think of anything worse for a parent than to lose a child."
Neighbors told us West was an artist who was sweet and friendly, giving them hugs and always being respectful. They say he walked with a bounce in his step, and they're going to miss seeing his smiling face.