Couple have lucky escape as their home explodes

PUBLISHED: 15:38 27 October 2011

House devastated by an explostion, Brean Down Ave, Weston-s-Mare.

House devastated by an explostion, Brean Down Ave, Weston-s-Mare.

Archant

AN EXPLOSION tore off the front of a house in Weston on Tuesday night - but the retired occupants emerged relatively unscathed after a lucky escape.

The incident occurred at 7.45pm on Tuesday in Brean Down Avenue, Uphill, and it is thought was caused by a gas explosion from a portable butane gas heater.

The retired man and woman, believed to be in their 60s, miraculously walked away with only minor injuries after the blast had literally raised the roof of the property.

The man suffered burns to his hands and face and the couple were taken straight to Frenchay hospital.

Their next door neighbour, Joseph Burke aged 49, was evacuated from his home after the incident and said he saw the couple emerge from the wreckage.

He said: “They were both just completely shocked and did not know what had happened.”

He added: “There was a loud bang and I could hear things falling. I thought something had fallen off the roof.

“I went outside and saw next door’s window in our back garden and I went straight back in and called the emergency services.”

When fire and rescue service arrived Mr Burke was evacuated from his home and stayed with neighbours. He said: “I cannot re-enter the house in case there is a lot of damage.”

Another neighbour who lives up the road from the damaged property, Nigel Gittins, aged 51, said: “I was watching TV when it happened and when I heard the bang I thought it was the kids messing about upstairs.

“I saw two fire engines and I heard the man was trying to get back into the property to save his stuff.

“The couple have been renovating the house for several years and used butane gas heaters in the rooms in which they were living on the first floor. A structural engineer has advised that the house may have to be demolished.”

Avon Fire and Rescue has said the property is structurally unsound and an investigation will be carried out.

The owners of the property were unavailable for comment.

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