HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Fire crews rushed to reports of a car on fire in Hollywood early Sunday morning around 7 a.m., but upon further investigation, they realized a body was inside the vehicle.
Now an arson investigation has been launched into what some people fear could turn out to be a murder investigation.
The car was found burning in the 2300 block of Thomas Street, in an alley behind Speedy Distributors Machine and Tool Rental.
The smell of something burning was hard to miss for Selva Atas who lives nearby.
“I was wondering where it was coming from, it was horrible,” Atas said. “A detective knocked on my door and asked me if I was even up at this time and I was, but I did not hear or see anything.”
Just a few doors down was a scorched car in an alleyway in the 2300 block of Thomas Street. Hollywood Fire Rescue was called out to douse a burning car.
“During their brief investigation, they did determine there was a body inside of the vehicle. At that point (fire rescue) backed off and the Hollywood Police department established a crime scene,” said Officer Christian Lata, of the Hollywood Police Department.
The crime scene meant that the entire block was roped off for several hours as detectives scoured the area.
The damage to the vehicle was so extensive that the make and the model of the car was difficult to discern.
The scorched vehicle was towed away to the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office to try to find the identity of the person who was left inside that vehicle. Also, the state’s fire marshal has been called in to look into the circumstances surrounding how the vehicle wound up in flames, who was behind it, and who was inside the car.
“It’s very scary. I’ve lived here for three years now and I couldn’t imagine something like that happening. I couldn’t imagine who would do such a thing,” Atas said.
Local 10 News’ Joseph Ojo spoke to a witness who said she heard a loud boom, then saw a woman running from the scene. Moments later she said she saw the vehicle fully engulfed in flames.