Fire crews were called out to a house fire near Camelback Road and 19th Avenue after neighbors reported hearing explosions Saturday morning.
Smoke billowed high into the sky, filling the street below with a thick haze.
Bright flames engulfed a home on Denton and 21st Avenue in central Phoenix.
By the time I pulled around here it was already engulfed...I pulled onto Denton. I could see into the house, I couldn't believe what I was seeing," said Jackie Fuller, a neighbor.
"It sounded like a muffled explosion, it sounded like the explosion came from the inside," said Dan Fuller, a neighbor.
Witnesses called 911 just after 7 a.m.; Phoenix Fire confirmed what they reported.
"There are preliminary indications by what the structure looks like, with some of the brick walls laying to the outside. There was some type of explosion from the inside blasting outwards," said Phoenix Fire Capt. Tony Mure.
Phoenix Fire tells us that at one point, crews deliberately let the fire burn in the back of the house, where the gas meter is located. They say it was a defensive move so the fire wouldn't continue spread.
"We know the lady really well and we have a lot of connection and now it's burned down...it's like the house is gone with her and it's just sad," said Sinh Lee, a neighbor.
Neighbors tell FOX 10 the house was unoccupied, but was being cared for by the previous owners family. She passed away a few years ago.
They're just glad that no one was hurt as a result of the fire.
Homes near the burning structure were evacuated as a precaution and about a dozen homes were without gas temporarily.
The exact cause of the fire is under investigation.