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Family leapt for lives as explosion destroyed their house

The destruction is seen in pictures released by fire crews. Credit: Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service

A family leapt for their lives to escape an explosion which tore their terraced house apart.

Double lung transplant survivor John Wilson, who also uses a stair-lift, was forced to jump from a window after the house caught fire at around 5am on Tuesday.

His wife Hazel escaped out the bedroom window while their 22-year-old daughter Danielle was forced to jump from the roof.

All three suffered "quite severe lacerations and burns", firefighter Alan Ashworth said at the scene in Curzon Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester.

People have been hurt in the blast. Credit: Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service

Danielle's older sister Leanne Wilson, who lives down the road, said she was "lost for words".

She added: "I heard the explosion. I thought it was next door then everyone said 'it's your mum and dad's house.'

"A lot of people said they were very lucky. At the moment all I know is they're stable. They've lost everything."

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One neighbour said he dragged Danielle from the house after hearing what he thought was a bomb.

Sam Armstead, 28, who lives behind the property, said he had been up with his sick daughter when he saw the fire from his window.

He said: "It literally happened in a millisecond, the house just blew up. I jumped up.

"I jumped over all the fences, got there and she was lying on the floor, the back of her hair was on fire and her back was on fire.

"I pulled her out a bit more. She was laying on her back saying 'help me I'm on fire'.

"If you look at the state of the house it's unbelievable that people got out alive."

An aerial view shows the devastation. Credit: Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service

The cause of the explosion is still unclear.

Eight properties on the road had to be evacuated and it is believed that the property adjoining will be demolished.

Fire crews arrived and switched off gas and electricity supplies at the house and four neighbouring properties.

He revealed that firefighters have still not been able to go inside the house due to the collapse at the front and back.

Curzon Road, Whiteacre Road and Clinton Street are all closed and people are asked to avoid the area if possible.