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Man trapped in South Salt Lake house fire dies from injuries

SOUTH SALT LAKE — A man who was asleep in his room Sunday evening when a fire broke out has died from his injuries.

A fire was reported at 2721 S. West Temple about 8:30 p.m. Sunday. South Salt Lake Fire Chief Ron Morris said a crew was already in the area, saw the flames and arrived within two minutes.

Despite the quick response, Morris said flames were already shooting out a side window and a back door when they arrived.

During a primary search of the house, crews found a man in his 50s on a mattress on the floor in his room, he said. The man was taken to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray in critical condition with severe burns. He later died from his injuries.

Monday afternoon, South Salt Lake police spokesman Gary Keller said police were still working to positively identify the man.

"We may have to wait for fingerprints from the medical examiner," Keller said, after which police will need to notify the man's next of kin.

The fire is believed to have started in a room adjacent to the victim's, the chief said, but what sparked it remained unknown Monday. Morris said a total of four men lived in the house, but due to a language barrier, investigators were still trying to determine Monday how many were home at the time.

Damage to the home is extensive, the chief said, while noting it could end up being a total loss. Investigators were expected to sift through the rubble on Monday in an effort to determine a cause and why the fire seemingly spread so quickly.

"We'll uncover every stone we can," he said.