By Geena Martinez
WEST ODESSA - An Odessa man is dead after an early morning fire ripped through his mobile home. Now neighbors are speaking out about what they saw and heard moments before the flames erupted.
"We heard a really big bang and I ran to the front porch to see what it was," a witness, who didn't want to be identified, said. "I seen a house was up in flames."
The sound of something exploding shook residents out of bed in a West Odessa neighborhood.
Around 4 a.m. Monday morning, a fire broke out in a trailer home in the 2500 block of Kessler.
"Almost as tall as the trees, it was midway up the trees," neighbor, Mary Tinsley, said.
"It was just horrible to see, it really was," the witness said. "It was just frightening."
But fear turned into shock once neighbors learned the person living inside didn't make it out alive.
"I went inside immediately and said a prayer for his family," Tinsley said.
The Ector County Sheriff's Office said a man was visiting his friend who lived in the trailer. The man told deputies they smelled smoke but didn't know where it was coming from. The smell grew stronger so he left the trailer but the owner didn't follow.
The man told investigators he tried going back inside the trailer but flames shot out when he opened the door.
One woman, who didn't want to be identified, said she saw the victim's friend and he was shaken up.
"He was smoking a cigarette in his hand, just freaking out like, 'Oh my god, I know that guy, I know that guy,'" the woman said.
Family members showed up to look at the damage while NewsWest 9 crews were there. They declined an interview due to the ongoing investigation.
A cause has not yet been ruled. Neighbors said they have several questions.
"I don't know why he wasn't able to get out," Tinsley said.
"If someone was out there, why didn't they help them get out?" the witness said. "Why? That's my question. Why?"
The victim's name has not been released.