Investigators say it could take days to determine what caused the explosion and fire at the Kia dealership. (Terra Tailleur/CBC News) (CBC)

The man who died Friday morning from injuries suffered in an explosion and fire at a Dartmouth car dealership Thursday has been identified as Kyle Hickey, 22, of Halifax.

Sean O'Regan, president of O'Regan Motors Ltd., confirmed that Hickey was working at their Kia dealership on Wyse Road.

He said Hickey was responsible for preparing vehicles for paint and bodywork at the dealership and had worked there for less than one year.

Staff were advised of Hickey's death through an e-mail.

O'Regan said the company's "thoughts and prayers" are with Hickey's family.

"All of his co-workers spoke very highly of him. It's a tragic event, and we're all concerned about his family, friends and co-workers. We're doing the best that we can," he said.

O'Regan said the company is co-operating in the investigation into what caused the fatal explosion.

Two other people injured in the blast were taken to hospital with less serious injuries.

O'Regan said one of those employees is recovering from "light" wounds while the other seems to be doing "fine," after complaining of breathing problems.

Halifax fire and provincial Department of Environment and Labour officials were sifting through the scene Friday at the dealership, trying to determine the cause of the blast.

Four other people were assessed at the scene of the explosion, said Paul Maynard of Emergency Health Services Nova Scotia on Thursday.

Halifax fire service divisional Chief Mike LeRue could not confirm that a propane leak caused the blast around 4 p.m., saying it wasn't known what was happening in the body shop just before the explosion.

"I have no idea as of yet what they were doing," LeRue said Thursday.

Thick, black smoke

Four ambulances and nine paramedics responded to the emergency. Paramedics also examined 15 people who were exposed to fumes from the explosion.

A man who lives near the dealership said he heard a low whooshing sound and then saw thick, black smoke billow out of the building. Witnesses said there was a series of smaller explosions after the initial explosion.

LeRue said they believe those smaller explosions were caused by paint cans blowing up.

Christine Krochak, who was behind the dealership at the time of the explosion, told CBC News she saw a man emerge from the building right after the explosion.

"One guy walked out on his own, but he was badly burned head to toe, with very little clothing left," Krochak said.

Halifax Regional Police and firefighters cordoned off the area for a few hours.

With files from the Canadian Press