A man was found dead early Monday inside a burning car as the home of the car's owner was going up in flames, officials said.
The home at 1806 Holiday Dr. in Coolbaugh Twp., Monroe Co., exploded just before 3 a.m., officials said.
"It was blazing. I heard the boom, and that is what woke me up," said neighbor Roy Rambhawan.
"Like a ball of fire on the lawn," said Gloria Francis.
The explosion was powerful enough to blow out the back wall of the garage and melt the neighbors' vinyl siding.
"I could feel the heat across the street," Rambhawan said.
About 15 minutes later, the homeowner's car burst into flames on Fairview Avenue in nearby Mount Pocono.
"It was huge, very loud. It had a lot of popping sounds," said Rob MacMahon, who recorded video of the fire.
The man found dead inside the car has not yet been positively identified, but the coroner said he matches the physical description of Robert Colthirst, the last listed owner of the home, which was foreclosed in Nov. 2011, according to county records.
Neighbors said Colthirst is a Jamaican immigrant who has lived in the home for five years.
He didn't talk much, but a very, very helpful person," Francis said.
"He would get ice cream for my daughter now and then," Ginna Sipley said.
The coroner will use dental records to make a positive identification.
An accelerant, possibly gasoline, was used to set fire to both the house and car, said investigators, who have not yet determined what it was.
At this point, police aren't saying whether the fire was intentionally set by the man who died or by someone else.
"It's very disturbing," Sipley said.