CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte fire investigators say an arsonist is responsible for an explosion and fire that rocked a house on the city's west side Thursday night.

It happened at 4537 Sampson Road just before 8 p.m.

Neighbors said the man who lives in the house was not home when they heard a loud explosion followed by a fire that gutted much of the structure.

I was standing on the porch and had just got back from the store when there was a boom, a loud explosion. I ran into the house and told my wife to call 911, said neighbor Harold Graham.

Firefighters quickly brought the fire under control.

While the fire was intentionally set, according to the Charlotte Fire Department, investigators are still trying to determine how it was started. Damage is estimated at $60,000.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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