Firefighters extinguishing a blaze that engulfed a North County home following a powerful explosion that awoke neighbors early Friday found an unidentified dead man behind the gutted structure.
The blast and resulting house fire in the 16400 block of North Woodson Drive, northeast of Poway, was reported about 1:30 a.m., according to Cal Fire.
Josh Black, an engineer with the state agency, told a local TV station that he heard the explosion about a mile away at his fire station. The blast tore off the home's garage doors and broke windows at a next-door residence.
It took crews more than an hour to fully control the blaze.
Firefighters found the man's body in the back yard of the gutted 4,000-square-foot house, according to Cal Fire Capt. Nick Schuler. The residence was a rental property that had no tenants and was supposed to have been vacant, authorities said.
Investigators were attempting to determine the dead man's identity via fingerprint records, the county Medical Examiner's Office reported.
An autopsy determined that he died of second- and third-degree burns, smoke inhalation and blast injuries to his head and chest, coroner's officials said.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department's Bomb-Arson Unit was called in to try to pin down the cause of the explosion and fire.
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