Man suffers burns in blast

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A MAN in his seventies suffered serious burns after an explosion, the force of which blew out windows at his home.

The man is understood to have been rescued by neighbours following the suspected gas blast at a house in the village of Hampsthwaite, near Harrogate.

Gas engineers were called to the semi-detached home, in Finden Gardens, to assist the investigation and ensure the property was safe. The elderly man’s adjoining neighbours’ houses were evacuated as a safety precaution, police said yesterday.

An investigation is underway to try to establish the cause of the blast which happened at 11.30pm on Tuesday.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The incident involved a fire in the kitchen following an explosion in the property.

“As a result of the explosion two front and rear ground floor windows along with the kitchen door of the property were blown out.”

The occupant of the house, a man in his seventies, sustained burns as a result of the explosion and subsequent fire.

He was taken by ambulance to hospital for treatment and was later transferred to Pinderfields Hospital, in Wakefield, for specialist treatment. Nobody else was injured in the explosion.

The fire service spokesman added: “The fire caused 90 per cent fire damage to the kitchen. 20 per cent fire damage to living room and 100 per cent smoke damage to the rest of the property.”

Yesterday North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service investigators and North Yorkshire Police’s forensic investigators examined the scene to establish the cause of the incident.

The property remained cordoned off yesterday.

A spokeswoman for Northern Gas Networks said: “Our officers are on site assisting the emergency services and HSE with their investigation.

“We cannot comment on the cause until the investigation is complete.”