Firefighters met with 'totally demolished' house when they arrived at scene of explosion in Halifax

Firefighters were met with flames and a house that was 'totally demolished' when they arrived at the scene of an explosion in West Yorkshire.
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Fire crews were called to Green Lane in Illingworth, near Halifax, at around 7.40am this morning (Dec 5) following the explosion. Three people who were injured in the blast have been taken to hospital.

One of the homes has been totally destroyed according to Benjy Bush, group manager for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, while two others are still unsafe to enter. A total of six homes were initially evacuated, but some of those have now been declared safe to return to.

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Shortly after 1pm, the service said the fire had been extinguished at the property and firefighters were making the area safe. Pictures from the scene show rubble strewn across the road, and Mr Bush said his teams were met with large flames when they arrived at the scene.

The aftermath of the explosion in Green Lane, IllingworthThe aftermath of the explosion in Green Lane, Illingworth
The aftermath of the explosion in Green Lane, Illingworth

He said: "When crews arrived they saw that the house had been totally demolished and were facing flames so that was the initial scene that they were dealing with. Three adults were out of the house when we arrived and were being treated by the ambulance service. They were taken to hospital.

"The crews extinguished the initial flames but there had been a gas main which had ignited because of the collapse. It's difficult to deal with that flame because we need to wait until the gas is isolated before that can be extinguished. The Health and Safety Executive is assisting with our investigation teams on scene.

"When the gas main has been isolated we will extinguish that flame but until then we are keeping people away from the area. We will remain at the scene for some time.

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"There were six homes evacuated, just as a precaution really. Some of the people are back in their homes now, but the affected building was on the end of a block of three. The other two houses in that black are currently unsafe so the people there are having to be housed elsewhere.

"There was an elderly lady who lived next door and she has had to come out of her property because her house is unstable so she has been housed elsewhere.

"I don't want to say what might have caused it. That will be our focus in the coming days. At the moment, it's not safe for our investigators to go in to do their work. They will be on scene to assess what could have contributed to the cause but we don't know. It could take several days, even weeks, for the investigators to find out.

"I would ask local people to refrain from going to the area and to leave the emergency services to do their jobs. There are a lot of agencies at the scene so if local people can keep clear that will allow them to do their jobs and make the area safe."

A spokeswoman for Yorkshire Ambulance Service also confirmed attendance at the incident, which was at a private property.