MEHLVILLE, Mo. – The residents share their reaction to a massive fire involving a garbage truck in a Mehlville residential neighborhood that spread to a truck and tree on Nahn Drive.

Around 1 p.m. Tuesday, residents heard what they thought was an explosion, but when they stepped out of their homes, they soon found out that it was a garbage truck engulfed in flames

“I heard three large booms,” said Cathy Donahue, who shot the video of the fire.

“The explosion was deafening, it was so bad. I couldn’t believe it,” said Marian Stewart, neighbor. “It was terrifying, absolutely terrifying, flames were just shooting out.”

With a heat index of 100 degrees, firefighters battled both the heat and the high flames stemming from natural gas tanks in the truck.

“When the crews arrived, those tanks had ruptured, and we did have flames shooting from both sides of the truck,” said Tim Dempsey, deputy chief at Mehlville Fire Department.

The fire spread to a nearby parked landscape trailer and a neighboring tree. Firefighters were able to contain the fire. No one was reported hurt, including the garbage truck driver, who got out safely.

Crews said it would take them hours to clean it up, but unfortunately, the debris and the smell are something that’s going to linger long after.

“I didn’t think recycling could be that smelly,” Donahue said. “I just don’t think there’s any way to describe it in words. It’s just absolutely shocking, and you know you count your blessings after something like this.”

FOX 2 reached out to the owner of the truck for comments, but they declined to leave any remarks.