BARNEGAT — What police described as a likely "nuisance bomb" exploded in a garbage can outside an Ocean County home early Thursday morning.

Ocean County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Al Della Fave said the explosion happened around 1:30 a.m. in a rubber trash can at curbside between a home on Village Drive and Windward Drive in the Settler's Village, not far from Route 9.

The home is also not far from the Lillian Dunfee Elementary School on Barnegat Boulevard.

Arriving officers found "a cloud of smoke" coming from the remains of the trash can, on a curb between 81 Village drive and 82 Windward Drive, with a debris field contained within 10 yards of the area of origin, the prosecutor's office said.

"It didn't injure anyone. There was no damage to surrounding homes or vehicles. We don't believe it was intended to hurt anyone," Della Fave said. There were no witnesses to the initial explosion, he said.

Investigators are examining the debris to determine what caused the explosion and what material was used, according to Della Fave. Neighbors are being interviewed as well.

Some neighbors said they were shaken out of bed by a "loud bang" and were concerned — less than a month ago, a bomb exploded in a trash can in Seaside Park, one of a series of explosions authorities have said Elizabeth resident Ahmad Rahami set off. One woman's 7-year-old son was upset and could not get back to sleep. Still, others slept through the blast.

Resident Tripp Rogers said that by 7 a.m. the scene was cleared except for a police vehicle that blocked the entrance to Port Drive.

Vin Ebenau contributed to this report.

Sign up for the WPG Talk Radio 104.1 Newsletter

Get South Jersey news and information e-mailed to you every week.