A Zephyrhills man is dead following a fire at his home and the circumstances are suspicious, a Pasco County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said Sunday.
Firefighters were called to the home on Lane Road at a little after 4:00 a.m. and found the body of 58-year-old Richard Massey.
"[I was] sitting out here, smoking a cigarette and literally went around the corner and [saw] everything up in flames and it just sounded like everything was popping and going off," said Christopher West, who lives down the street and said that popping sound concerned him as much as the fire. "It just sounded like empty shells or something going off like gunshots."
Other neighbors heard something similar.
"There's a lady that lives down the street and she sat there and said she actually heard, at 4:00 [Sunday] morning, 10 gunshots," said Elnora Carter. "It's a little scary."
Investigators wouldn't say how whether any shots were fired or reveal what was suspicious about the fire and death. West said the lack of information makes matters worse.
"[If it's] arson, if there is one of them out here running around, I hope they catch him before they do it again," said West. "Stuff like that, that's hard to even picture."
The Pasco County Sheriff's Office wouldn't put a timetable on the investigation and declined to release any further details Sunday.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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