Jesse Shore, a resident of Jay Street near Davis Square, said, "It sounded like a big explosion."
He was talking about a garage fire at 20-22 Jay St. that broke out shortly before 1:40 p.m. Monday.
Shore, who lives in the apartment building next to the garage, said the explosion sound occurred when a neighbor opened the garage door. The rush of oxygen into the building caused the structure to be suddenly engulfed in flames, much like the fires in the movie "Backdraft," he said.
"The whole house shook," Shore said. After that, he heard "a lot of people screaming."
"The flames were quite high," he said.
Another neighbor said about the garage, "It just went up."
It appeared the man who opened the garage door escaped without injury, according to Shore.
According to an email from Deputy Chief Charles Breen of the Somerville Fire Department, the wooden attachment to the garage was fully engulfed in flames. The garage contained a car and at least one acetylene tank, according to the email. Breen was not aware of any injuries associated with the fire.
As of about 2:30 p.m., that part of the garage was completely charred and still smoldering. Inside was the burned-out hulk of the car. Much of the vinyl siding at 24-26 Jay St., next to the burned garage, had melted off.