NEW YORK -- A street vendor who says he saw the smoking SUV parked with a bomb near New York City's Times Square feels like he dodged a bullet.

Duane Jackson tells The Associated Press he saw the Nissan Pathfinder parked in a no-standing zone at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday, with the engine running and the key in the ignition.

The 58-year-old Jackson says he and another vendor who sells trinkets next to him outside a hotel went to peer inside the tinted windows, then smelled smoke and heard a "pop pop pop" like firecrackers.

Jackson says he first thought the car might have been on fire. Once he learned that a bomb had been discovered, he says he realized he and other vendors dodged a bullet.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the bomb is being viewed as a potential terrorist attack.