Jul 31, 2014 9:57 PM by Charlie Misra, KSBY News
A disabled man was found dead in a mobile home in Lompoc that was destroyed by fire early this morning.
Investigators say the fire started just before 2 A.M. in the Continental Mobile Home Park on the 800 block of North O Street.
The victim was identified as 60-year-old Douglas Arthur Garbers.
The fire chief says the fire appears to be accidental.
He says the man who died was a smoker and the fire may have been caused by carelessness.
Barbara Wilson was startled when she woke up early Thursday morning at her Lompoc home.
"A quarter after 2 I heard this bang," said Wilson. "And then this flash. This loud flash. So I thought what could that be?"
Wilson remembers what she called a "horrible gassy smell" in the air.
Her first thought was to call her neighbor.
Wilson's neighbor told her she could see one of the nearby mobile homes was on fire.
Raquel Arias, who also lives nearby, says she and her neighbors called the fire department.
Arias said her neighbor started to see stronger and stronger explosions.
"I thought what's going on? What's happening? And it's not a firecracker it's too much," said Wilson. "It's too much flame. It's too scary. So I went out and looked."
Arias says the fire grew quickly and the flames went higher.
Chief Latipow says the victim's hoarding of personal items added to the intensity and spread of the fire.
Arias said she was feeling very scared for her neighbor when she woke up this morning. She didn't know what happened to him. She says everyone thought he was inside his home.
Most of the neighbors nearby told KSBY they didn't know the victim very well. They said he mostly kept to himself.
The one person who did know him said he was a kind man and a good neighbor.
The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The fire chief says the mobile home did not have a smoke detector.
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