Smoking materials were to blame for an explosion in a Long Eaton flat, which killed a 57-year-old man, the fire service has said.
A neighbour described the terrifying moment he heard a loud bang and saw flames bursting out of the ground floor flat in Queen Street on Saturday night.
“I was in my garden at the time,” he said.
“I thought it was two cars crashing.
“When I got there there was a two-foot ball of flame coming out of the building.”
The man, found dead inside, has been named locally as Keith Allen, who is thought to have been disabled.
Fire crews from Ilkeston and Long Eaton were on the scene in minutes.
A spokesman said: “Our thoughts and sympathy are with the family and friends of the deceased at this sad time.”
A joint investigation with police is still on-going into the cause of the explosion.