Homeless tent in Glendale Boulevard underpass in Echo Park

The homeless man moved into a new tent to replace the old one damaged by the blast in the Glendale Boulevard underpass.

Echo Park -- A homeless man living in an underpass said an explosive device, perhaps a large firecracker, was set off next to his tent Sunday night, ripping a hole in the fabric and filling the tent with smoke.

The incident appeared to take place as residents reported hearing a loud explosion before 11 pm.

Homeless advocates at Street Watch LA posted photos on Twitter of the man's damaged tent and scorched sidewalk in the Glendale Boulevard underpass at Sunset Boulevard.

"Thankfully our friend and his 2 cats are physically ok and we got them a new tent, but this was extremely traumatic for them," Street Watch said on Twitter.

In an interview this afternoon with The Eastsider, the man, who identified himself as Freddy, said he had been reading a book as he was preparing to fall asleep when he heard a large vehicle rev up and speed away moments before the explosion, which he thought sounded like an M-80 firecracker.

"I didn't see a flash or anything. All I hear was a big boom," said Freddy. "The corner of my tent blew right in, smoke everywhere.  I was half dazed. I kept hearing car alarms going off and ringing in my ears."

The two cats that live with him were unharmed.

Freddy said he had been camping in the underpass for about four months. His tent had been slashed before but he had not suffered any other major problems.

The tunnel is frequently lined with tents and homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk. But Freddy said his was the only tent in the tunnel on Sunday night.

He said LAPD officers stopped by to take some information and pictures. Supporters dropped off a new tent, he said.

An LAPD spokesman said officers responded to a call late Sunday night of an assault with a deadly weapon in the 1100 block of Glendale Boulevard from a person saying an explosive device or firework had been thrown at their tent.

Freddy's said his social worker told him he might end up in emergency housing after the blast.

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