PHOENIX (KSAZ) - "I was just rebuilding the place, right here inside, I was working."
Six months ago, Mike bought the property on Rose Garden near Deer Valley Road in Phoenix and started remodeling. He hoped to move in soon and run his business from here, as well, by buying and selling used cars.
"Usually I stay late here and workout, but not last night," he said. "Last night I would have seen it if I was here."
When Phoenix fire arrived on the scene at around 2 a.m., flames were shooting 15-feet into the air and the blaze was so intense that firefighters had to go on the defensive.
"There's several propane tanks in the backyard, along with gas cans, obstacles, pot holes and large debris," Capt. Ron Jesse said.
Neighbor Ron Swick had never seen anything so intense.
"I heard popping, cracking," he said. "It was real bright in the house through the windows. That's what woke me up. (I) threw on some clothes, looked outside, all I saw was flames."
The homeowner is distraught that he wasn't here and wasn't able to save his property.
He has no insurance and knows starting over without a livelihood will be a real struggle.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.