An early-morning house fire in Lethbridge has claimed the life of a 50-year-old man, and a dog.

Fire crews were called to a home in the 600 block of 5th Street S. about 1:30 a.m. Saturday and when they arrived, smoke was seen coming from a door to the basement.

There they found heavy smoke and a small amount of flames, which were quickly extinguished.

A 50-year-old man was located inside and rushed to Chinook Regional hospital in life-threatening condition, where he later died.

A dog, believed to be a border collie, was also found deceased in the home.

Steven Slater was outside having a late night snack when he noticed the commotion. He said the man who lived in the home was well-liked in the community.

“He’s been a really good guy and a great friend to me, and an excellent neighbour,” he said.

“I’d see him all the time and wave to him.”

Investigators are now searching for a cause to the fire.