Police: Fatal Car Explosion In Osceola No Accident

October 14, 2004

Investigators say the fatal explosion of a car parked at an Osceola County, Fla., Wal-Mart store was no accident, Local 6 News has learned.

The body of a 32-year-old man was found inside a burned car at a Kissimmee, Fla., Wal-Mart Wednesday night.

Witnesses said the man left the store at about 11 p.m. and entered his Ford Taurus car when it exploded.

However, investigators said they found a Duraflame log and propane canisters on the front passenger's seat.

Authorities said the man was having financial, marital and job problems.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

Copyright 2004 by Internet Broadcasting Systems and Local6.com.

Osceola Man Killed In Blaze When His Car Explodes, Burns

October 15, 2004
By Susan Jacobson
Sentinel Staff Writer

KISSIMMEE -- Police on Thursday were investigating the death of a man who burned in his car at a Wal-Mart parking lot.

Matthew Allison, 32, who lived near Kissimmee, died Wednesday about 10:30 p.m. when a Ford Taurus parked there exploded and burned, fire officials said.

Some people in the lot told authorities that Allison was outside the car, reached in, stood up and then leaned or fell inside, but investigators had not been able to confirm that account. Witnesses also reported seeing an explosion, then flames.

"Within seconds, the whole car was involved," Kissimmee fire Chief Robert King said.

Allison's body was found in the driver's seat, and he was slumped over toward the passenger's side, investigators said. The driver's side door was open, and his legs were outside the car.

Suicide is one of the theories police are investigating, but a family member said Allison would never take his own life. He was stepfather to wife Carol's two sons, ages 16 and 10, and was as devoted to them as if they were his own, brother-in-law Matt Toler said.

"He would never do anything to upset my sister or these kids," Toler said Thursday.

Allison was on his way home from his job at a warehouse in Orange County and had spoken to his wife a couple of hours before his death, Toler said. He didn't know the details of the conversation.

Investigators found small canisters of propane, a container of gasoline and an artificial fireplace log in the passenger seat of the car, authorities said. They had reviewed a parking lot surveillance videotape and were preparing Thursday to look at a second tape. The store is near the Buenaventura Lakes subdivision.

Toler said Allison had a college degree in molecular biology and biotechnology. He was a fan of ice hockey and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He also enjoyed playing video games with his stepsons and accompanying them to a skate park, Toler said.

He and his wife had been married nearly two years, public records show.

"Matt and Carol, they were each other's life and heart and soul," Toler said. "When you found one, you found the other. They were best friends."

Anyone who saw the incident is asked to call Kissimmee police Detective Dan Lockwood at 407-847-0176, Ext. 3240.

Susan Jacobson can be reached at sjacobson@orlandosentinel.comor 407-931-5946.

Copyright © 2004, Orlando Fl


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