Bristol news Neighbour describes moment Bristol house exploded MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Police are treating the explosion as suspicious
Breaking News ! A neighbour has described how his family awoke to an almighty "boom" as the house next door exploded in the dead of night. Tony Uthayeakumar lives with his wife and two daughters in St Nicholas Road, St Pauls, where police are currently investigating a "suspicious" house explosion. The 55-year-old recalled how they ran out onto the street just before 2am this morning (Thursday, April 8), barefoot and wearing only their nightwear in their rush to get to safety. Speaking from the police cordon this afternoon, he said: "I have never known a sound like that - it was a 'boom!' Like a petrol bomb. "The first thing I thought was that there was an earthquake. My house alarm started going off. "My daughter came in and said there was a fire, after that I said to everyone 'get up!' "It [the house] was shaking, but I controlled my mind and body because if I shake, who will be responsible for my family? "I don't care for my life, I'm looking out for my daughters." Follow the latest updates on the explosion via our live blog Tony has lived there for 16 years in the council property and his family are staying in a hotel until they know if their home is structurally safe to return to. One of his daughters is a teenager at sixth form, and the other is a medicine student home from university for the Easter break. Avon and Somerset Police are treating the explosion as "suspicious", but said no one was injured. 'Man running away' Tony said he rushed to the window just before he fled outside, and saw a man jumping through the garden and breaking down a fence panel, although he did not get a clear look at him. They ran outside on the street in just their nightwear and with bare feet, and his eldest daughter called for help. Police are on scene dealing with an explosion in the early hours of Thursday morning that is considered currently as suspicious (Image: James Beck/BristolLive) He said: "I didn't look for any of my stuff, anything, I said 'get up'. No shoes or socks or nothing, it was very cold outside. "Everybody [in neighbouring properties] was outside, because the gas was smelling." Another neighbour living on the next street told Bristol Live that the sound also woke him up, and he likened it to something "heavy being dropped". Tony said the property that exploded had only just been put up for sale three days ago, and a Rightmove listing matching the address was still live as of this afternoon. The one-bedroom flat is being advertised for cash buyers only and states that it is "in need of complete renovation", with some rooms pictured with no floors, wires hanging from the ceiling and cluttered with piles of broken furniture and cardboard boxes.
. One theory raised by Tony is that it was simply a case of mistaken address. Expressing confusion about the reasoning, he said: "Why for us? "It was an empty house, there's nobody inside living or renting. "The only people are in my house, and the neighbours who are university students, and a family on the other side.
Dramatic pictures show scene of gas explosion in Bristol
"Nobody lived in this house, why the boom, blast?" The council has put his family up in a hotel, but it is not yet clear when it will be safe for them to return. Tony said he was briefly allowed inside to get some essential items and a change of clothes, and there was some damage to one of the walls and it was still very smoky. 'I am lucky as long as my family are safe' He moved to England from Sri Lanka during the civil war there, and said the experience had prepared him for what to do in an emergency. He added: "With the fighting there, I know what's important. "Money, other things - I don't care for. As long as my family is safe. I am lucky." Follow our live blog on this incident for the latest from emergency services He expressed how grateful he is about the rapid response from emergency services and from Bristol City Council, and said it must have been about eight minutes maximum that a convoy of emergency vehicles arrived. He described how firefighters hosed down the blaze and emergency crews worked to evacuate neighbouring homes and make the area safe. 'Cause unknown' Gas and electricity workers have been on scene since and were still digging up the road this afternoon. Scaffolding has been put up outside while engineers investigate the damage and ascertain if it is structurally safe. In a statement at 2pm, Avon Fire and Rescue Service said the cause of the fire was "unknown". Police have asked anyone with information to call 101 quoting reference number 5221074539.
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