Neighbors said they heard what sounded like gunshots during a fatal car fire in Lakeside Wednesday night.
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) homicide detectives are investigating after a burning body was recovered from a car parked on Mast Boulevard.
On Thursday, NBC 7 obtained cell phone video of the fire--which left behind scorched earth on the side of the road .
“It sounded like bang-bang, like fire crackers or guns going off,” said neighbor Megan Blum-Hopgood.
One neighbor said she was afraid to look outside her home after hearing the explosions.
"I was more worried about gunshots. Not sure what was going on, so I stayed away from the windows,” said Shannon Shepard.
Andrew Borcher recorded the car fire with his phone from the back patio of his home.
During the four and a half minute recording, four explosions can be heard coming from the Lexus sedan.
"Very, very shocked something like that would happen. Very heartbreaking someone was actually in the vehicle,” Shepard said.
One homeless man who lives under a pepper tree near the location of the incident, told NBC 7, he witnessed the whole thing and believes it was an act of self-harm.
"I heard a shot and explosion,” he said.
Andrew Borcher said he also believed the fire was intentional.
“Without intentionally setting the car on fire, you wouldn't have 15 or 20-foot flames for 20 minutes,” he told NBC 7.
SDSO is called the death suspicious until a cause of death is determined.
The fire is unsettling some neighbors.
"We bought this home because it was a very safe neighborhood. Now we know someone was killed. It's very very scary,” Blum-Hopgood said.
The Medical Examiner has not yet identifying the victim.
According to authorities, the victim did not own the car.