Firefighters were called to the fire in the 400 block of North Lone Hill Avenue around 5:15 a.m. They were able to knock down most of the flames in about 40 minutes, but the fire continued to burn due to a severed gas line.
"We did have a gas main break," said Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Tom Richards. "As we were pulling back, we found a gentleman in the cab. He was DOA from gunshot wounds."
Investigators said the man lived at the home. They determined that the man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
No one was found inside the home. The man's dog was found unharmed in the backseat of the cab.
Investigators said they were trying to determine a motive.
Neighbors described the man as a 58-year-old cab driver who often dressed as a woman and went by the name "Candice."
Neighbors were jolted by the sound of the explosion and immediately took action, watering down their own properties and helping others evacuate.
"My mom got my sister's car down the street so that we'd be able to get out and she packed up all of our scrapbooks and got the animals ready just in case," said Katie Koach.