A man who was thrown on to the other side of the street when his house blew up said it is a ‘miracle’ he is still alive.
Agostinho Jesus, aged 36, was leaving his home in Darnall last Wednesday morning when an explosion ripped through the terraced property – blowing off the front of the house.
The dad-of-one said he initially thought he was ‘burning alive’, but after being rushed to hospital medics discovered he had escaped relatively unscathed.
Agostinho said he lost everything in the blast and the house, which he owned, was not insured.
His window cleaner’s work equipment and van were also destroyed.
“I lost everything, all my belongings, apart from the clothes I was wearing and they were cut off me at the hospital,” he said.
“I am really hoping somebody might come forward and try to help. I’m not the kind of person that likes to ask for anything but my whole life was in that house.
“But I am alive and I’m glad I’ve got my fiancée, Monika, who has cared for me, which is very important.”
Agostinho was leaving his house with a television he was going to try to sell when the explosion occurred.
He said he had just turned off a light switch when he heard a ‘massive bang’, which he said sounded ‘like a terrorist attack’.
“In that split second when I heard that big bang I was basically thrown away from the house along with the front wall,” he said.
“But by some miracle I was alive. I was on the ground surrounded by fire and the first thing I thought was ‘Oh my god, I’m burning alive.’”
Agostinho, who has an eight-year-old son, Miguel, said he was grateful the youngster was not at home at the time of the blast – which destroyed his room.
“It is a tragic story but to me it feels like a miracle. I’m alive and the whole house is destroyed. It’s just unbelievable.
“If you look at where I landed about two metres away all the bricks from the wall of the house were surrounding me and not even one was touching me. It was like someone put a shield over me.”
Agostinho suffered some cuts and burns in the explosion but hopes to work again within weeks.
“It’s a miracle I didn’t break anything. I had a few bruises on my arm, a few bruises on my legs but nothing major really.
“I have a cut on my head so I must have hit my head but I don’t remember,” he added.
“Basically the explosion burned all my face, it burned all the hair off my head. I’ve got few burns on my head but nothing really major – my ears are burned and my neck.
“My left hand is the most burned one but the right is burned as well,”he added.
Doctors say he may need surgery on his left hand.
The most likely cause of the explosion was a gas leak.