Couple's lucky escape after explosion
A COUPLE have told how they luckily escaped their home with their lives after a gas explosion as loud as a bomb ripped through their bungalow.Robert and Daphne Little had been relaxing in their living room at their home in Trimley St Mary, near Felixstowe, when their camper gas stove blew up.
By John Howard
A COUPLE have told how they escaped their home with their lives after a gas explosion ripped through their bungalow.
Robert and Daphne Little had been relaxing in their living room at their home in Trimley St Mary, near Felixstowe, when their camper gas stove blew up.
The couple were using the stove in the kitchen on Friday evening as the power had gone off in the area. They had left vegetables cooking when it exploded so severely tiles slipped off the roof, walls cracked and doors were damaged.
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Mr Little, an 85-year-old war veteran and former general manager, said: “It's unbelievable - I still can't accept it has happened.
“It sounded just like a bomb going off and I know what that sounds like, because I experienced it when one dropped near me in Lincolnshire when a German plane came over and dropped a stick of bombs.
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“My wife and I wondered what the hell it was. I tried to dial 999 but the phone did not work. My wife smelt gas and I said 'let's get the hell out of here'.
“A neighbour phoned for the fire brigade and then the brigade, the police and the ambulance came. The ambulance crew took us in to Ipswich Hospital for a check up, and we are both ok but we could have been killed, or at the very least seriously injured.”
Mr Little and his wife stayed with a neighbour after the explosion and he thanked everyone for their help.
But the couple were determined to get back into their home as soon as possible and use the sections of the property that withstood the blast.
Mrs Little, 82, who has been married to her husband for more than 60 years and has lived at the bungalow since it was built in the early 1980s, said the explosion sounded dreadful.
She said: “There was this terrible bang, I went towards the kitchen and started feeling dizzy. My husband opened the front door and I just got out. We did not know if the whole place was going to go up.”
Neighbour Diane Carter said they thought fireworks were being set off at first but when fire engines started arriving they knew it was something more serious.
Electricity supplier EDF Energy was investigating at the weekend why more than 10,000 homes in the Felixstowe area were plunged into darkness following a power cut. The blackout happened at around 5.10pm on Friday and many homes were not reconnected until around 7pm.
A spokesman for Suffolk police confirmed they were called to the scene and said there had been severe structural damage to the property, so a structural engineer was due to call at the scene to assess it.