Mother tells of lucky escape after explosion wrecks family home

A mother has spoken of her lucky escape after she and her three-year-old son narrowly avoided an explosion which wrecked their home.

Amy Rooke, 21, and her son Kayden Byrnes had nipped across to her parents’ house across the road when the fire in her living room exploded seriously damaging the semi-detached property at Exley, Halifax.

Amy Rooke with her son Kayden, aged three,  who's house was wrecked in an explosion.

Amy Rooke with her son Kayden, aged three, who's house was wrecked in an explosion.

The wood burning stove, which weighs 60 pounds, was propelled across the room in the blast bringing down half the chimney breast at the house on Chevinedge Crescent.

Miss Rooke said: “We were just unbelievably lucky.

“It just so happened that my little boy wanted to go over the road because he wanted to show his grandad his Thomas the Tank Engine toy that wasn’t working anymore.

“It probably saved our lives.

“I’m always having a whinge about how much the Thomas toys cost but I’ve got a lot to thank Kayden for now,” she said.

“Fifteen minutes earlier Kayden was playing in front of the fire and I was sitting on the sofa where the stove ended up. It just all happened so quickly.

“Kayden knows the house is broken up but thankfully he’s oblivious to it all because we weren’t there.

“My neighbours have been brilliant though. One of them has set up a Facebook page asking for help with toys and stuff,” said Miss Rooke.

“My next door neighbour said the blast actually knocked her husband off the sofa.”

Amy’s dad Dave Rook said: “It’s just a complete mystery. She’s lost a lot of material stuff and everything in the living room has been destroyed.

“But the main is thing is that she and Kayden are both OK and that’s the most important thing.”

Watch Commander Mick Pollard, who was with the two fire crews from Elland Fire Station who attended the incident, said: “They were very lucky not to have been home at the time, they would have been at risk of serious injury or death. It was a ferocious blast.

“The stove weighed about 60 pounds and has caused severe damage. A gas explosion has been discounted but we’re still investigating what caused it,”