HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico fire and police officials are investigating the cause of a fatal car fire. An older model Mercury Tempo car was found fully involved in behind a home on Kemp Street in Eastern Henrico.
The homeowner tells NBC12, they believe the fire was a horrible accident.
Beverly Johnson-Parham says, she got a phone call Friday afternoon from a neighbor who said, a car was burning in her backyard. When she got home, it was much worse than she imagined.
Parham says the burned out Mercury Tempo belonged to her cousin and her cousin was found dead inside of it.
"He had said that something was leaking in the car and I kept telling him that he needed to get it fixed," she said. "I just think it's an older car and I don't know if a gas line leaked or something but it just blew up."
Fire crews were called at 2:45 p.m. to the 5100 block of Kemp Street for a vehicle fire. After crews were able to put the fire out, they found human remains inside.
"My heart hurts because my friend is gone. My cousin and friend is gone," said Parham.
Beverly Parham says, her cousin was staying with her and her husband to get back on his feet. She says, he landed a new job and had plans to go to Baltimore this weekend.
Neighbor David Fields says, he was watching TV around 2:45 Friday afternoon.
"I was sitting on the couch and I heard 'boom!' I thought, 'what the heck was that?'" He said.
Fields says, he rushed to the window. "I could see the black smoke coming from behind the house. At first, I thought he was burning some brush but obviously that wasn't the case."
Parham says, her home has very little damage but the damage to her family won't be as easily fixed.
"That was my best friend," said Parham. "We were buddies, we've been buddies since we were little kids and I am floored over this one."
Neither Henrico Fire nor Police will comment on the investigation at this time.
Parham tells us the next step is retrieving her cousin's body from the coroner and burying him properly.