One man dead after his Lealman townhouse catches on fire

Neighbors say they heard a loud explosion

7AM UPDATE | A man who died Friday night when his townhome went up in flames has been identified as 66-year-old Anthony Sabino of Lealman.

Several witnesses said they heard a loud explosion before the fire broke out shortly after 9 p.m.

Sabino lived alone, and no one else was inside at the time of the fire. 

Pinellas County sheriff's detectives learned Sabino had sent text messages to a family member and made threats to harm himself, a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office news release said. 

The incident does not appear suspicious, the release said. 

ORIGINAL STORY | Lealman firefighters said a 66-year-old man has died after his townhouse went up in flames.

The Lealman Fire Department received a call shortly after 9:00 p.m. about a fire at a townhouse located at 7233 Parkside Villas Drive.

Neighbors say they heard a loud explosion. One neighbor said the explosion knocked everything off his walls.

"I heard a loud bang and it knocked everything out. I got up and looked and I saw flames coming out of my neighbors house. The windows were blown out," said neighbor James Karraker.

Firefighters said about 3 units are without power and The Red Cross is assisting residents.

Firefighters say the victim's daughter lives next door. Officials have not released the name of the victim.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Firefighters found 3 oxygen tanks inside the townhouse, but do not know if it started the fire.

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