Shaken residents spoke of the moment an explosion ripped apart their terraced street.
“I heard an enormous bang and when I glanced out of the window, I saw house flying through the air – it was terrifying,” said Sarah Knox, aged 35, who lives a few doors down from the destroyed property on Dundas Road in Tinsley, Sheffield.
“When I rushed outside, I saw the house had no front and no roof.
“My good friends live next door and my first thoughts were for them, so without thinking I rushed inside their house to see if they were hurt and to help them get out.
“I found my friends and their little girls shaken but okay and covered in black soot from the explosion.
“The upstairs of their home was on fire and their front window had blown out, so we all hurried to get out of the house just as two more large bangs erupted. It was frightening.”
Shocked neighbours and staff at a firm near the scene said the blast, just after 9am yesterday, rocked buildings, slammed windows closed and sent debris flying.
Awais Ali, another Dundas Street resident, said: “I was asleep and heard a big explosion so I jumped out of bed.
“I got to the window and could see bits and pieces flying everywhere. I honestly thought some sort of earthquake had happened.”
Millgate Computer Systems Limited is 100 metres away from the house.
Manager Jamie White said: “We were sat having a cup of tea and there was an almighty bang.
“The building shook, the windows which were open closed.
“We looked outside and saw plumes of smoke and flames across the road. It was quite shocking.”
Dozens of residents, many still in their pyjamas, watched from a safe distance as fire services battled to get the house’s smouldering ruins under control.
Alan Bailey lives three doors away and told The Star the explosion woke him up.
“It was so loud and then when I looked out of the window I could see debris all over the street. In my groggy state I couldn’t comprehend what was happening,” he said.