Couple ‘cheats death’ as their home explodes with them inside

A couple has ‘cheated death’ after their home exploded with them inside, destroying their kitchen, living room and part of their roof.

Vanessa Bowen, 29, believes she and her husband Paul, 31, would have been killed if they had been in the living room at the time of the blast.

The pair had just got into bed after watching The Great British Bake Off when the "massive explosion" rocked their bungalow in Nottingham.

The blast blew their kitchen and living room apart, with the kitchen window sent flying to the other side of the garden, Nottinghamshire Live reports.

It also blasted out the living room windows and shattered the property’s bricked walls.

And the tiles on the roof have been caved in.

Structural engineers are now at the bungalow in Cinderhill Road, Bulwell, following the terrifying incident in the early hours of this morning.

There are fears that the home could collapse.

While the couple’s border collie dog, Loki and rabbit, Gwennie escaped the blast, their cat Thor, who was in the kitchen at the time, remains missing.

Their tropical fish were sadly killed in the explosion.

Mrs Bowen, who is a carer, told the Post: "If we had been in the living room at the time I think we would have been dead.

"We had three fish tanks and they have gone. I am devastated and numb.

"At the moment what is running through my head is where is my cat and all my stuff is in that house. I am glad that my dog, husband and friend are safe – and my rabbit."

Mr Bowen and the friend, who also lives at the property, were taken to hospital with minor injuries due to clambering through shrapnel to find the missing cat.

The fire service said it is believed the explosion was caused by a camping gas cylinder.

Fire crews from Stockhill and Arnold raced to the scene at around 4.14am today.

Mrs Bowen added: "We went to bed pretty late. We had been watching Netflix. I was just about to put my head down and we heard a massive explosion.

"We jumped out of bed and got to the hallway when we noticed the living room door had come off and the living room was a mess.

"I could see orange spurts in the kitchen. My first thought was the cat.

"Our propane camping cooker was on fire and we managed to put the flame out. I had not taken notice of the damage – my main priority was finding the cat and dog.

"It has completely blown out the front windows of the living room, it has blown the back door off its hinges, the roof is crumbling and the kitchen and living room wall has blown out. It is at risk of collapsing and they will not let us back in."

The couple’s next-door neighbour, Alma Dauris, 69, who has lived in the area for three years, told the Post: "I did not hear a thing.

"The first I knew is Vanessa was knocking at the door in her pajamas and a blanket round here with the dog. She said ‘my house is collapsing and my kitchen has blown up.’

"She was quite calm but she was shaking and the dog was in a state. They were so lucky they went to bed at the time they went to bed. It could have been a lot worse."

Police are still at the scene and a hole is being dug in the front garden to isolate the gas and electric.

Plans are underway to scaffold the house to stop it collapsing and so the couple can collect some of their belongings.

A spokeswoman for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "Officers are currently assisting the fire service following a report of an explosion at a house in Cinderhill Road.

"A gas cylinder is believed to have exploded.

"A scene remains in place whilst a structural engineer attends to assess the property.

"Two people went to Queen’s Medical Centre with minor injuries."

Nottingham City Homes, which owns the property the couple rent, said: "In the early hours of this morning, a team comprising of an emergency responder and a structural engineer attended a bungalow on Cinderhill Road in Bulwell following an explosion at the property.

" The residents were taken to the QMC, and we are now offering full support to them, including finding suitable accommodation in which to rehouse them temporarily whilst assessments are carried out at the property.

"Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has advised us that the cause of the explosion is a butane gas cylinder exploding in the kitchen. It was brand new and unused, and had been purchased recently by the residents.

"The blast has blown the windows and doors of the property off, and has lifted the main roof, which has caused the gable end to split.

"There is a possibility that the roof could collapse, and so the area has been cordoned off and props put in place. We will work to ensure the site safe before determining the future of the building."

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