Three people have been rescued when a house collapsed after a fire and explosion in Croydon, south London.
Six fire trucks and about 40 firefighters were dispatched to the blaze in Galpin’s Road, Thornton Heath shortly after 7 a.m. Monday.
Kutoya Kukanda, 50, and Delroy Simms, 62, said they helped rescue three children from the rubble, but feared a girl, about four or five years old, was still trapped inside.
They said they thought the mother of the children had been evacuated.
Four people were treated at the scene by paramedics, three of whom were taken to hospital.
Dozens of residents gathered outside a police cordon in their pajamas.
Some said they reported a strong smell of gas two weeks ago, and others said they had felt dizzy and nauseous for the past two days.
A local resident told Sky News they heard a loud bang from several blocks away that felt like “a storm” sweeping through the house and blowing up doors.
Others said they were awakened by the noise. A man who lived down the street said the windows and doors of his son’s room were shaking after the explosion.
The London Fire Brigade said it had received 14 calls about the incident and neighboring properties were also damaged.
“Three people have been rescued,” it sounds.
The cause of the fire and explosion is not yet known, it added.
A spokesperson for the London Ambulance Service said: “We treated four patients in an incident in Galpins Road, Thornton Heath. One was discharged on the spot and three others were taken to hospital.
“We will remain on site with our colleagues from the emergency services.”
Police officers are also on the scene.