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Woods Cross • While other homes on Sorrento Drive lit up with holiday lights and Christmas trees on Friday night, one house remained dark.

The couple who lived there for 49 years died late Thursday from a house fire, believed to have flared when holiday lights malfunctioned.

South Davis Metro Fire spokesman Jeff Bassett confirmed Friday that Gary Mecham, 77, and his wife, Melba Mecham, 74, were pronounced dead at Bountiful's Lakeview Hospital shortly after being found unconscious and unresponsive by firefighters inside their home at 2255 S. Sorrento Drive about 11 p.m. Thursday.

Family and friends cried together outside the Mecham home Friday morning. The brick ranch-style house in a cul-de-sac looked intact Friday except for plywood over the front window.

Neighbors Carl and Irene Bonner said they have lived in their home on Sorrento Drive for 48 years, one fewer than the Mechams had.

"We went through everything together," Irene Bonner said, "raised our kids together, the highs and the lows. Everything."

Gary Mecham used to be an upholsterer and Melba Mecham worked various jobs through the years, Irene Bonner said. She said Gary Mecham was quiet, "but he did have a wit about him."

Melba Mecham was outgoing and caring.

"If you were sick or your kids were going through something," Irene Bonner said, "she'd be over here just like that."

The Mechams loved each other, Carl Bonner said.

"It's terrible it's Christmastime," Carl Bonner said, "but they went together. Maybe the Lord was right there with them. It puts a hole in your heart. We're going to miss them."

Neighbors Jacob and Sarah Sorenson said they saw flames in the Mechams' front window about 10:30 p.m. Jacob Sorenson said he and another neighbor went to the house and began knocking on the windows to get someone's attention.

"All I heard was the smoke alarm going off," Jacob Sorenson said.

Bassett said it appeared the couple used a fire extinguisher in an attempt to put out the flames, but were overcome by heavy smoke.

Neighbors had called 911 and attempted a rescue before crews arrived, but the front door was too hot for them to open.

Firefighters entered the home and took the couple out the back door, where paramedics began CPR before rushing the couple to the hospital.

No injuries were reported among emergency responders.

Damage to the home was estimated at more than $50,000.

Twitter: @erinalberty @remims

— Salt Lake Tribune reporter Mariah Noble contributed to this story.