A man has died after his car crashed into a power pole and burst into flames at Mount Kembla on Friday afternoon.
The single-vehicle accident happened shortly after 3pm on Cordeaux Road, just past William James Drive.
Wollongong Police Inspector Angela Burnell confirmed the death of a single occupant, believed to be male, who has yet to be formally identified.
"As a result of the collision the car has been engulfed in flames," she said.
"The vehicle can only be described at this stage as a dark coloured sedan or hatch," a police spokeswoman said.
"We're certainly making investigations into the identity and informing necessary people."
NSW Ambulance Inspector Norm Rees said the accident involved a single vehicle travelling west to east along Cordeaux Road.
"It appears the driver, assumed to be male, has lost control," Mr Rees said.
"The car has impacted with the gutter a number of times and brought the power lines down. The car has then burst into flames."
Mr Rees said it appeared the fuel tanks had exploded as the fire took almost an hour for Fire and Rescue NSW and RFS crews to put out.
Paramedics were unable to do anything except confirm there was a single occupant in the car who had died.
Mr Rees said the road was now a crime scene for police investigators and had been cordoned off from residents as it was "pretty horrific".
Cordeaux Road at Mount Kembla is closed in both directions, with local traffic diversions in place at William James Drive to the east and Stones Road to the west.
Mr Rees said two people travelling in the cars behind the deceased driver had tried to come to his assistance.
"One man got his car extinguisher out and started spraying the bonnet but it became too much so he had to move back," he said.
A Mount Kembla resident, who did not wish to be named, said he and some other residents heard the explosion, and ran to the scene.
One resident tried to smash the window with a rock to rescue the occupant but was pushed back by flames.
"We were there before the emergency services - the flames just engulfed the vehicle," he said.
The men who had tried to assist the driver were being checked by paramedics.
Fire and Rescue NSW Illawara duty commander, Inspector Greg Purvis, said crews from Unanderra and Wollongong rescue unit attended the scene.
"First we had to shut down the power so crews would be safe," he said. "It took more than half an hour to extinguish the fire.
"Crews from the Rural Fire Service also attended and assisted.
"We are not sure what has caused the fire. That will come out in the police investigation."
Insp Pervis said some fuel and foam used to extinguish the fire ran into a nearby creek.
HAZMAT crews were on scene to remove the contamination.
Inspector Burnellpraised the efforts of witnesses and emergency services personnel who were "on scene early and did their best to render assistance and get the area back to safety".
"It is an exceptionally tragic incident and emergency service personnel naturally don't like attending these sorts of incidents," she said.
"We are looking after our police officers and emergency service personnel."
More than 1100 homes lost power in Cordeaux Heights, Mount Kembla and Kembla Heights following the crash.
Endeavour Energy crews have since restored power to most of the surrounding area, however there will be an ongoing impact to William James Drive.
Insp Burnell said the road would be closed for several hours while police continued to investigate and to ensure the road was safe.
The make and model of the car is not yet known. It is believed to be a black sedan.