Four dead in Ogden house fire

Published: Jan. 31, 2019 at 5:29 AM CST
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Fire investigators are trying to determine what caused an early morning fire in Ogden that killed four people.

The fire started around 3:45 a.m. in the 200 block of Riley Ave. Fire crews say the man who owned the home was found dead with his wife and their adult son. County records indicate the owner is Ronald Harris.

Neighbors told 13 NEWS that Harris took in a homeless man, who had been living on the first floor. Officials are trying to positively identify the bodies and determine the cause of death through an autopsy.

In addition to battling the flames, firefighters were also fighting the cold, with five degrees temperatures freezing the water quickly and complicating their effort.

Several firefighters were injured after falling on ice and a paramedic suffered smoke inhalation.

Collins says their preliminary investigation shows the fire may have started in a downstairs couch, bout they are still trying to pinpoint the cause.

Collins also noted the building did not have smoke detectors.

"It affects everybody"

Right now, Ogden is feeling the loss of four long-time community members. Riley Co. Rural Fire Dist. 1 Chief Pat Collins called their deaths, "a big loss. We have people here that we see every day."

"Anything horrific like that... it affects everybody whether you knew them or not because you don't want to see any family perish," Jerry Talbot said.

Talbot knew the family and said they all had big hearts. He fears the person found dead was a homeless man they took in during the winter months.

It showed they cared about people that they [did] everything they could," he added.

A former business

Fire officials say the building used to house various businesses on the first floor, but it was now all converted into living space.

Collins said there was still stuff in the building that was left over from when it was a business. He noted a chair was blocking part of the stairway to get the back door open.

The fourth victim had been living on the first floor.