A radio sales executive was found dead in a house in Silver Spring last night shortly after firefighters extinguished a blaze there, Montgomery County authorities said.

The body of Anthony W. Rose, 37, sales manager for WGMS-FM and AM, was discovered in a house in the 9800 block of Cherry Tree Lane in the Four Corners neighborhood, fire department spokeswoman Angela Withers said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, police and fire officials said. Police spokeswoman Ann Evans said authorities will await the results of an autopsy before determining the cause of death.

Several of Rose's neighbors reported the blaze about 5:28 p.m., Withers said. The fire, which caused more than $100,000 in damage, was extinguished in about 15 minutes, she said.

One neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said she was standing on her porch when she heard a loud explosion. "It sounded like a hot water heater exploding," she said.

A few minutes after the explosion, the neighbor said, she saw flames near the front door of the two-story house.

Police said Rose, who had lived in the neighborhood for about 15 years, apparently was the only person in the house. Rose was married and was a father, neighbors and authorities said.

Two years ago, Rose was a member of a Washington-based group of minority broadcasters that attempted to purchase WKYS-FM (93.9) from National Broadcasting Co.

The group's efforts to buy WKYS were unsuccessful, and the station was purchased by Albimar Communications, a Boston-based, minority-controlled investment group.