Neighbors missing Scottsdale man killed in accidental fire

Posted at 8:24 PM, Dec 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-26 22:24:47-05

The dust is settled, but the smell of smoke is still in the air three days after a fire claimed the life of 51-year-old Scott Michael Stephens at his home in Scottsdale.

Neighbors have left flowers and candles outside the home near Hayden and Via de Ventura, feeling the tragedy of losing a good neighbor.

"We're going to miss him something terrible because he was such a positive person,” said Fern Porter, a neighbor.

Firefighters found Stephens inside his burning home, but weren't able to resuscitate him.

Neighbors remember Stephens for his friendliness, often hosting BBQ’s.

"He'd have a bunch of neighbors over and just cook all the food,” said neighbor Ricky Amano.

And more importantly, they remember his kind heart.

"This lady and a bunch of the older ladies that are widows, he took good care of them, made cookies for them,” said Tom Cecil, another neighbor.

Residents say Stephens was a Navy veteran who often served meals to the homeless. They say there's not a thing he wouldn't do for family or friends.

"I just can't believe he's gone. He kind of adopted me, I think because his grandmother was important to him,” Porter said.

According to neighbors, his children from out of state had just visited him.

Firefighters are investigating the cause, but they believe it may have been a tragic accident.