A fast-moving fire destroyed a two-story house and a garage at 1581 Lindan Drive in Alden shortly before noon Saturday.
Frederick H. Mitchell, third assistant chief of the Alden Fire Department, said no one was home when the fire broke out. He said the fire had been burning for some time before a neighbor noticed it. Mitchell said they believe a sound like an explosion came when superheated air blew out a window.
Flames were leaping as high as 40 feet into the air when firefighters arrived, he said.
There also was exposure damage to a neighboring house. Mitchell would not comment on a Twitter report that two cats died in the blaze. He said the damage was so severe that investigators could not determine the cause. No firefighters were hurt.
Seven other fire companies assisted at the scene.