Emergency crews have rescued people who were trapped inside a burning house following a report of an explosion.
Neighbours in Ashford, Kent, say the front of the house was “completely gone” after they were startled by a “loud bang” and rushed outside to find the building in flames just before 8am on Tuesday.
They speculated that it may have been a gas explosion, though no official cause has been given.
A man who lives nearby posted video showing the house in flames and debris scattered across the street as smoke was swept away by strong winds.
A police officer, wearing a face mask due to the coronavirus pandemic, tried to stop locals from getting closer to the scene.
The neighbour tweeted: “Huge gas explosion on my road, front of the house is completely gone.”
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Gas engineers were being sent to the scene.
Police said a number of people who were reported to have been trapped inside the house were freed by emergency services.
Local residents were urged to keep their windows closed.
A Kent Police spokesman said: “Officers from Kent Police are currently working alongside colleagues from Kent Fire and Rescue Service and South East Coast Ambulance Service after being called to a report of an explosion in Mill View, Willesborough, Ashford at 7.57am on Tuesday.
“A number of people were reported to have been trapped and they were freed by emergency services.
“Officers are working to establish if anyone else is unaccounted for.
“Officers are advising people to avoid the area and asking local people to keep their windows closed.”
A fire spokesperson said: “Kent Fire and Rescue Service is at the scene of a house fire following a reported explosion in Mill View, in Willesborough, Ashford.
“Four fire engines are in attendance.”
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