'There have been tears and fear': Residents speak out after suspected gas explosion in Clayton-le-Woods
Residents have spoken of their fear after a suspected gas explosion caused a house to collapse in Clayton-le-Woods.
Emergency services were first called to the scene of the blast in Kirkby Avenue at around 1.30pm on Friday, October 15.
Nearby residents were quickly evacuated and a cordon was put in place while emergency services attended.
Eight fire engines and an aerial ladder platform worked to extinguish the neighbouring property before a search and rescue operation was launched.
Angie Curran, who's parents live on a granny flat attached to the house, immediately began shouting to her neighbours when she heard the bang.
She said: "I heard the huge bang and it was horrific. There were huge clouds of smoke just flying from the roof.
"I immediately started shouting out to check my parents were okay as the house is just behind mine."
"It’s all speculation what happened, but it’s heartbreaking. It’s such a close community here and we just can't believe it.
"It's shocked us all and we are all shaken. There have been tears and fear."
One neighbour said he did not know when he could next return to his home, which had been blocked off by the cordon.
He said: "I live just round the back of the house. I was just going to take a nap and heard this huge bang.
"The whole house was on fire and the flames were huge.
"The house is completely smashed to bits.”
Dozens of fire engines, ambulances and police vans remained at the scene late into the evening, with residents advised to close their windows and doors.
A fire safety advice van also attended the incident to help calm down distressed neighbours.
Cadent, which operates and maintains the largest natural gas distribution network in the United Kingdom, said it was "too early" to say what had caused the explosion.
"We are at the scene of this incident to support the emergency services and ensure everything related to gas is safe," a spokesman added.
"We'll thoroughly check the local gas network and we will support the authorities as they look into all possible causes."
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