Three people have been rushed to hospital and residents have been evacuated from their properties following an explosion that destroyed a house and sparked a massive fire today.
Emergency services and units from several fire stations are tackling the blaze after they were called to the scene in Illingworth, near Halifax, West Yorkshire, just before 7.40am.
The explosion, which shook homes like an ‘earthquake’ according to witnesses, destroyed one building, but residents in six surrounding houses were also forced to flee their homes as a safety precaution.
West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue said the three people were treated at the scene before being taken to hospital for further treatment. The extent of their injuries has not been confirmed.
It is believed that the family home was occupied by a couple and their son.
Today dramatic pictures showed the devastating damage caused by the explosion which could be heard more than three miles away and made an entire house ‘disappear’.
Emergency services were called to the scene in Illingworth, near Halifax, West Yorkshire, just before 7.40am today after an explosion at the house
The explosion could be heard more than three miles away and made an entire house ‘disappear’
Debris was left scattered on the road following the explosion in the Illingworth area of Halifax
One resident said he got a phone call from his mother in Bradshaw, about a mile from where the explosion after she heard a ‘huge bang’.
The circumstances surrounding the explosion are still unknown, but Michael Dunn said the blast could be ‘heard and felt’ in Denholm, roughly 3.5 miles from the scene.
Mr Dunn said: ‘Just had a call from my mother in Bradshaw, she heard a huge bang like an explosion upstairs so called up to see if everything was okay.
‘There were emergency services everywhere, and a five minute walk away this house had disappeared, it was heard and felt in Denholm.’
The fire crews are working with West Yorkshire Police and Yorks Ambulance, Calderdale Council and utility companies to deal with the aftermath of the explosion.
A neighbour in her 90s is among the evacuees, Yorkshire Live reports.
The incident was initially attended by crews from Fairweather Green, Halifax and Odsal with specialist units from Cleckheaton and Dewsbury.
Investigations are ongoing into the cause of the explosion and crews are managing any ‘remaining pockets of fire’ at the scene.
The fire service said crews are likely to be on the scene for some time.
A West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service spokesman said: ‘Crews are dealing with any remaining pockets of fire which are being extinguished should they appear.
The explosion destroyed one building, but residents in six surrounding houses were also forced to flee their homes as a safety precaution
Fire crews rushed to the scene this morning after an explosion sparked a massive fire
The emergency teams said they were dealing with ‘remaining pockets of fire’ at the scene
‘Firefighters are likely to be on the scene for some time.’
He added: ‘Investigations are continuing into the cause of the explosion.’
Northern gas network tweeted: ‘Our engineers are currently attending an incident in Green Lane, #Illingworth #Halifax. They’re working with @WYFRS @WestYorksPolice @Calderdale to ensure that the area is safe and to determine the cause of the incident.’
On Twitter, one local resident said: ‘Felt the explosion! Thought something had hit the house and only noticed the flames on the way back upstairs from checking everything. Fire looks to be out now.’
And another person whose father had been evacuated wrote: ‘It’s mad how everyone is fine. How do you anticipate an explosion like that and get out in time??? My dad’s been evacuated. Hoping to get back in later today.’
Following the blast, neighbours began a fundraising effort on Facebook for those involved.
Northern gas network said their engineers are currently attending an incident in Green Lane
‘We from the Illingworth community should all come together and support this family as much as we can … let’s get this community support going as soon as possible,’ wrote one member of the public.’
Some offered to donate clothes and food to the family via local businesses and charities.
One person added: ‘Does anyone know what’s needed ect, I don’t live far away if. We can help in Anyway we will!’