A man in his 40s died in hospital after a home caught fire Sunday morning in southeast Calgary, the Calgary Fire Department says.

The bedroom fire started at about 3:30 a.m. MT at 14th Avenue and 38th Street S.E. When crews arrived, they found a small amount of smoke coming from a basement window of a single family bungalow.

Firefighters quickly discovered the smoke was coming from a fire in a basement bedroom.

Marsha Hunt said she was supposed to move into that home.

Hunt said her ex-husband and his friend were helping her renovate the place so she could live there. They stayed in the basement while the work was being done.

Hunt, who was staying nearby, said she was alerted when the fire broke out and quickly ran over.

“I went down the stairs,” she said. “As soon as I hit the door open, it just billowed out with smoke.”

Calgary forest lawn fire Marsha Hunt

Marsha Hunt said her ex-husband and his friend were helping renovate the house so we could move in. They were staying in the basement while work was being done. (CBC)

Hunt helped her ex-husband get out of the basement — but they didn’t know the other man was still inside.

Within minutes, firefighters brought the 43-year-old man out and transported him to Foothills Hospital, where he died. The man's name is being withheld until his family has been notified.

“He was a very considerate and very nice person,” Hunt said. “His family is going to miss him. Everyone is going to miss him.”

The fire department says the incident is yet another example of the importance of having working smoke detectors in homes.

“The smoke alarms give the audible alarm and early detection and they’re definitely the most valuable piece of alerting equipment that you could put in your home,” said Allan Ball with the Calgary Fire Department.

The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.