Hero neighbours risk lives to save elderly man after 'gas explosion'

A man has been taken to hospital suffering with "flash burns" following an explosion at his Normoss home, say fire services.

Firefighters who attended the scene have reported that heroic neighbours risked their lives climbing into the damaged property to rescue the elderly man.

Three crews from Blackpool and South Shore were called to reports of the 'explosion' onConway Avenue

Three crews from Blackpool and South Shore were called to reports of the 'explosion' onConway Avenue

Three crews from Blackpool and South Shore were called to reports of the 'explosion' on Conway Avenue at around 8pm on May 30.

The force of the blast is said to have been so powerful it blew out first and ground floor bay windows as well as the rear patio doors.

A spokesman for the fire services said: "The Fire Service attended reports of an explosion and upon arrival were faced with a badly damaged semi detached house with both the first and ground floor bay windows missing and the surrounding structures showing signs of collapse.

"It became quickly evident that an elderly gentleman had been rescued by neighbours who had climbed in through the damaged bay windows, risking their own lives, and who had then led him to safety.

"Fire crews isolated services to the property, evacuated adjacent premises and created a safety cordon with assistance from the Police whilst Paramedics treated the casualty."

"Representatives from the Gas Board attended to carry out safety tests and Firefighters from the Urban Search and Rescue Team helped make the building safe by carrying out shoring up operations.

"We believe at this point that it is likely the cause of the explosion was related to gas. We would recommend that all gas appliances are regularly checked by a qualified engineer.

"Obviously, our advice would always be to not put yourself in danger and to wait for the fire services to arrive rather than climb into an unsafe property, although fortunately in this instance there were no other casualties. "

The man remains in hospital. The cause of the explosion is currently under investigation.