Investigators wrestle with mystery death, fire in S. Salt Lake
South Salt Lake fire investigators have a deadly mystery on their hands.
Firefighters and paramedics responding to a 911 medical call late Monday found a 37-year-old man dead in the basement of his home, and a small fire burning in a nearby bedroom.
"There were no indications of foul play, no signs of trauma or suicide, nothing like that so far," South Salt Lake Fire Chief Kevin Bowman said on Tuesday.
The victim, whose name was not released pending notification of family, had been dead for at least several hours when emergency personnel arrived 7 p.m. Monday at 362 E. Utopia Ave. Firefighters, noting smoke throughout the house, found and doused a fire — perhaps caused by a candle left burning on a table — in the bedroom.
"We don’t know if he was dead prior to that fire or if maybe he was overcome by the smoke," Bowman said.
The man’s girlfriend, concerned he was not answering his phone, found the man’s body when she went to the house. She told paramedics and police that as far as she knew her boyfriend was in good health, Bowman said.
Authorities hoped continuing the investigation at the scene and an autopsy would yield more clues to the cause of the man’s death.