Two dead after series of explosions destroy bungalow
- Credit: Archant
Two people have died after a suspected gas explosion caused a village bungalow to partially collapse.
Emergency services were called around midday to a property on The Street, Lidgate, near Newmarket, and firefighters were faced with a series of explosions from the back of the property.
Suffolk police have confirmed that two people died.
The building has sustained significant structural damage and utility companies have attended the area to ensure the safety of local residents.
The cause of the explosions is currently unknown and a joint police and fire investigation into this incident is now taking place.
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During an afternoon update, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, who sent four crews to the scene, informed onlookers that two people were still unaccounted for but confirmed on Tuesday night two people had died.
Neighbours described hearing a loud bang, with one likening the sound to a "First World War bomb".
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Darren Reeve, Suffolk Fire and Rescue station commander, said: "Crews were called approximately midday to a house fire. "Three fire engines responded to this and they were faced with multiple explosions from the rear of the property.
"It's quite a big bungalow and the rear of the bungalow is totally destroyed by fire.
"It was a very large explosion at the time followed by multiple smaller ones.
"However, we are still investigating how that occurred.
"There is extensive structural damage which has slowed down firefighting activities due to the integrity of the building."
He added: "We'd like to thank the neighbours, on our initial attendance we worked quite hard with the neighbours to try to ascertain whether anyone was in the property."
Mr Reeve added that the fire service would continue to work with police and the HART (Hazard Area Response Team) to resolve the incident as soon as possible.
A neighbour who did not want to be named said: "My daughter heard a bang and about 20 minutes later, I saw smoke billowing out. Our immediate neighbour said it was pretty loud. I think there were two explosions."
Lidgate Street was closed at the junction of the B1063, along with the turn-off for Cowlinge following the incident and police said it was likely to remain closed for some time.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101 quoting reference CAD 122 of 7 May.