Halifax explosion: Gas blast destroys homes as neighbours forced to flee properties

One person has been rushed to hospital after a gas blast destroyed at least one home, forcing neighbours to flee their houses.

Fire crews initially raced to the scene in Ovenden Crescent, Halifax, West Yorkshire, following reports of a shed fire and thick smoke billowing in the air.

Six terraced homes in the quiet residential street were evacuated with some people left homeless.

Aerial footage shows destroyed homes, gardens covered in soot and roofs partially destroyed.

Ambulances arrived at the scene after it was reported one male and one female, both in their 50s, had smoke inhalation.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service confirmed one person was taken to hospital while another was checked over at the scene.

It’s understood that the shed fire spread to a utility building, causing an explosion.

A spokesperson from the fire service said efforts are being made to rehome residents from six properties.

Resident Margaret, 63, said the fire, which is currently under investigation, was “very big and frightening”.

“It was scary – I was just glad they were out,” she said.

“These properties are council bungalows for the over 55s.

“These residents are disabled and some are housebound.

“Someone brayed on their doors and got them out. If someone had not seen the flames three people would be dead.”

Margaret added: “I came out and saw fire engines and police.

“Flames were coming out of the roof.

“Six properties have been damaged. Only three people were in them as two houses are empty. I am not happy about it.

“Those three people could have been dead if those lads hadn’t seen it and come round.”

Another resident said he had seen smoke and fire pouring out of a bungalow.

“The house was vacant,” he said.

“The man who had it died a few months ago. His belongings were in the garden.”

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue told Yorkshire Live: “Following a call at 03:27 this morning (July 12), five crews, from Illingworth, Halifax, Rastrick, Bradford and Fairweather Green attended a fire that had started at the rear of a property on Ovenden Crescent, Halifax.

“The fire spread to outbuildings and the closest property.

“The fire impinged on utility supplies outside the building causing an explosion outside the property.

“Two casualties have been attended to by Yorkshire Ambulance Service for smoke inhalation.

“Six houses were evacuated and temporary re-housing has been put into place.

“The cause of the fire is currently being investigated by our Fire Investigation team and West Yorkshire Police.

“WYFRS are working with our local partner agencies to support residents in the area as well as those directly affected by the incident.”